Gen Z students have a keen interest in STEM--an interest that continues to grow particularly among women and students of color

Gen Z students are aiming for STEM careers


Gen Z students have a keen interest in STEM--an interest that continues to grow particularly among women and students of color

A majority of high school and college students chose STEM as their No. 1 preferred career path, according to a survey of 11,495 Gen Z students conducted by the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS).

The 2022 Career Interest Survey gives insights into what motivates an adventurous, civic-minded, concerned, vocal, tech-savvy, emerging workforce.

NSHSS is an academic honor society that recognizes and serves high-achieving student scholars in more than 26,000 high schools across 170 countries.

Born after 1997, Gen Z is significantly larger than the generations that precede it, with more than 90 million members, according to Pew Research. With its oldest members just 25 years old, many in this generation are making life-changing transitions: graduating high school, attending college, and starting their careers.

The survey highlights five themes that characterize Gen Z students: Equity for all, STEM and healthcare, love of learning, the world after COVID, and the setbacks of college debt.

Top findings include:

  • Gen Zs are adventurers, but not crazy about the world we live in. Fifty-five percent are interested in living and working on Mars or the Moon
  • 70 percent want to travel internationally despite tensions (87percent of responses came after the Russian invasion of Ukraine)
  • Gen Zs want to work at Spotify (moves from #42 on the desired employer list – to #3)
  • Fair treatment of all employees ranks #1 of all workplace preferences
  • Forty-four percent of college grads expect employers to help pay their college loans
  • Sixty-three percent say they expect employers to offer in-person training

Laura Ascione
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