Female middle and high school students have a high aptitude fit with, but low interest in, STEM careers, such as technology, manufacturing, and architecture, among others, according to the 2023 Female Student and STEM Career Exposure Gap Report from YouScience.
Based on nationwide data gathered from the test results of more than 225,000 female middle and high school students who completed the Aptitude & Career Discovery assessment from YouScience Brightpath in 2022, the key findings show that female students have:
- More than 11x the aptitude for Advanced Manufacturing careers than interest
- 8x more aptitude for Computers & Technology careers than interest
- Nearly 4x more aptitude for Agriculture & Natural Resources than interest
- Nearly 3x more aptitude for Architecture & Construction careers than interest
Additionally, the report found that female students have greater interest than aptitude for careers in Human Services, Law and Public Safety, Teaching, and Arts & Media.
These insights confirm that a career exposure gap exists for female students, especially in STEM — an area in which jobs are expected to increase by almost 11 percent by 2031. Historically, however, women have held less than one-third of those jobs. According to the United States Census Bureau, there were approximately 10 million workers in STEM occupations as of 2019, but only 27 percent of those were women.
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