power W k
An APA-led study
aims to find out.
BY AMY NOVOTNEY
Careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are booming, according to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. In June, the center predicted that the total number of jobs
requiring a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field will grow 26 percent from 2010
to 2020, compared with the average 17 percent growth predicted for all
But there’s a problem: the National Science Foundation estimates that
fewer than 23 percent of U.S. college students graduate with a bachelor’s
degree in a STEM field.
However, the number of students who graduate with a STEM
degree more than doubles for college students who attend selective
science, mathematics and technology (SMT) high schools or take
part in university-led summer programs for gifted students,
according to a recently completed study. Led by Rena Subotnik,
PhD, director of APA’s Center for Gifted Education Policy, and
funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the study
explored the factors that keep students in STEM fields.
Among the study’s most significant findings: Students
are more likely to stick with STEM education when they
participate in research in high schools, get ongoing
mentoring from STEM professionals, have a strong
motivation for problem-solving or have a parent in a