It’s evaluation time. We need to take a good hard look at whether the education system in its current form is properly preparing students for careers in STEM. Recently, the Walton Family Foundation conducted a survey to dive deeper into just that, and the results are disheartening, to say the least.
The foundation’s key findings show that 62% of students want a STEM career (a whopping six out of 10 kids). They’ve broken down the stats by STEM profession:
- Biotechnology – 26%
- AI – 25%
- Fintech – 22%
- Quantum computing – 16%
- 5G/6G – 15%
- Semiconductors – 11%
So, how well are schools equipping our future leaders for STEM careers? According to the students surveyed, 33% believe educators are doing a “bad job” in that department. That’s not all. According to the Walton Family Foundation, only 40% of schools offer advanced STEM courses across the board.
As for gender, there’s still a disparity between female and male students, with 52% of females claiming an interest in STEM compared to 72% of their male counterparts. Undoubtedly, the entrenched societal patriarchy plays a role in that.
Thankfully, on the educator side of things, Education Week reports 95% of teachers assert it’s their job to prepare students for careers in STEM fields. However, 37% of that group claim they aren’t truly arming them with the knowledge to conquer a future in those fields.
At the end of the day, there’s a real lack of resources for students and teachers alike. Most schools can’t afford STEM technology. Therefore, students don’t even have a basic idea of what scientists have at their disposal. Regarding teachers, they may not have experience or have been educated in teaching STEM concepts.
What does all this mean? Resources are crucial if students are to flourish in STEM careers. With these occupations expected to grow considerably over the next several years, kids will need that educational padding to ensure a competitive workforce, especially with AI on the rise.
Here at Dottie Rose Foundation, we’re dedicated to educating and empowering our tech-savvy girls with the tools they need to succeed in STEM. We don’t want students to feel let down by the education system. Our hope is to continue developing our resources, so our future innovators feel ready to take the STEM world by storm.