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A new survey reveals inspiring insight into the career paths and subject areas that interest teens--including STEM careers.

STEM careers are among students’ top choices


A new survey reveals inspiring insight into the career paths and subject areas that interest teens

Students’ interests in various career fields had an overwhelming STEM and digital focus, according to a survey from the nonprofit American Student Assistance (ASA).

ASA, which aims to change the way middle and high schoolers learn about careers and navigate education-to-career opportunities, used its free immersive digital Futurescape platform to survey more than 2,000 students as they explored real-world careers beyond the classroom.

“We need to set students up for success by exposing them to career choices that they can explore where they live, which is on their mobile devices. We also have to reach them as early as middle school, before a world of career and postsecondary options begins to narrow,” said ASA President and CEO Jean Eddy.

“So far, our Futurescape platform has enabled seven million young people to explore careers that match their interests and passions and gain insights into what they might want to pursue.”

Digital career exploration interest skewed decidedly female, with more than three quarters (78%) of respondents identifying as female, 13% male, and others making up the balance.

Other key findings include:

  • The most popular careers overwhelmingly had a STEM and digital focus: 
    • Biomedical Engineers (17%)
    • Medical Scientists (16%)
    • Multimedia Artists and Animators (10%)
    • Graphic Design (8%)
    • Clinical and Counseling Psychologists (8%)
  • The biggest changes among top careers from 2020 to 2021 were in Graphic Design and Psychology:
    • Graphic Design interest increased 32%, followed by Fashion Design, which saw a 15% increase
    • The sharpest decrease amongst top careers was Psychology, which dipped 6% from 2020
  • The Futurescape digital platform exposed students to possible careers, job specifics, and insights about how their own personal strengths could relate to a job:
    • 78% of users said it gave them exposure and insights into a job they didn’t know had existed or previously considered
    • 74% learned more about their personal strengths and/or what jobs and careers might be the best match for them
    • 72% learned what a specific career or job path pays, how much schooling or training it requires, and other details that could inform future decisions
    • 70% gained a better understanding of what a specific job entails

Futurescape is a personalized digital platform powered by real-time insights. The career exploration tool highlights young people’s evolving strengths, passions, interests, and goals.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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