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Survey: Students discouraged from seeking STEM teaching careers

By Laura Devaney, Director of News, @eSN_Laura
February 24th, 2016

STEM-teachers

Despite push for STEM teachers, parents more apt to encourage children to pursue engineering, computer careers, new ASQ survey finds

Though 90 percent of parents in a recent survey said they would encourage their children to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM), 87 percent of those surveyed also said they would be concerned if their child opted to pursue a K-12 STEM teaching career.

Just 9 percent of surveyed parents would encourage their child to seek a STEM teaching career.

When it comes to STEM careers, surveyed parents identified engineering (50 percent), doctor (41 percent), and computer/IT analyst (27 percent) as their top three preferred careers for their children.

The results come from an online survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of ASQ in January among 644 parents of children under 18 living in the household.

The Harris Poll, conducted in advance of National Engineers Week, Feb. 21–27, determined parents’ perceptions about STEM careers and teaching, in particular. Celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2016, ASQ has more than 14,000 member engineers who say they are concerned about ensuring a highly skilled work force and educated engineers for the future.

The results are surprising, given the emphasis President Obama has placed on the nation’s need for high-quality, well-trained STEM educators to help students sustain an interest in STEM subjects.

In 2010, Obama introduced a national campaign to recruit and prepare 100,000 new effective STEM teachers by 2021 in order to spur higher science and math achievement among American K-12 students.

Next page: What another survey revealed about teachers and STEM teaching careers

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About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Devaney is the Director of News for eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura