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Research reveals boys' interest in STEM careers declining; girls' interest unchanged

New 2018 research conducted on behalf of Junior Achievement and Ernst & Young LLP (EY) illustrates how in just one year after first being surveyed, high school age teens’ career ambitions have shifted further away from careers in STEM and the arts and how more 13-17-year-old students are expecting to take out loans to help pay for college.

  • In a significant drop, 24% of boys want a STEM career, down from 36% in 2017; girls’ interest remains unchanged at 11%, year-over-year.
  • Among girls and boys, desires for careers in the arts dropped from 18% to 13%.
  • The percentage of teens expecting to take out a student loan increased from 33% to 45%.

Career choices that have risen in popularity include the medical and dental fields, as well as public service, illustrating that what kids find most appealing about their dream job is that they are “good at it” and can help people.

  • Careers in medical and dental fields increased from 15% to 19%, with girls far more likely to choose this path.
  • Interest in careers in public service increased from 7% to 10% overall.
  • Starting one’s own business (8%) and careers in business (7%) remained the same.

According to kids, their parents still hold the top spot in terms of who or what influences their choice of dream job. Parents’ influence, in fact, increased from 19% to 28% since last year. Societal influences such as social media declined from 15% to 8%. Other sources of inspiration include teachers, courses, volunteering and extra-curricular activities.  

“Teens today report they are leaning toward jobs that highlight their capabilities, as well as careers that offer altruistic outcomes,” said Jack Kosakowski, CEO & President of Junior Achievement USA. “As parents, educators, mentors and counselors, we need to continue to give students the skills to become more proficient in the areas in which they need to advance and grow, as well as show them how all types of careers provide opportunities to benefit society. JA volunteers, who come from all fields, help students make these types of connections about what they are learning in school and what they need and want to succeed at work and life.”

The survey data implies that teens today are viewing the economy as improving. One year ago when this same Junior Achievement-EY survey was conducted, the percentage of teens who were changing career plans based on the economy was 52%. Today, that number has decreased to just 40%. Fewer teens also plan to get a job and go to school at the same time – 22% this year vs. 30% in 2017. However, some data contradicts teens’ awareness of economic conditions.

  • The number of teens who have taken a financial readiness class decreased from 33% to 28%.
  • 81% of teens would take a work/financial readiness class if it was offered to them.
  • The percentage of teens that have a bank account decreased to 52% from 59%.
  • 43% of teens expect their parents to pay for college, up from 32% in 2017.

“With teens beginning to join the workforce and looking ahead to future careers, the timing is right to work with them to build and strengthen financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness skills,” said Gary Kozlowski, Partner, Ernst & Young LLP, who leads a network of EY leaders serving on more than 40 local JA boards across the US, Canada and the Caribbean. “I was surprised to see a reduced interest in STEM careers, which are taking on larger and more important roles in the transformative age in which we are living. Together, EY member firms and JA can team to help strengthen these critical skills for the workforce of tomorrow.”

Other Data Points

  • 88% of 13-17-year-olds know what kind of job they want after graduation.
  • The two skills kids would like to learn most to prepare for their dream jobs include technology and relationship building.

Methodology

This report presents the findings of ORC International’s Youth CARAVAN survey conducted among a sample of 1,000 13-17-year olds.  This survey was live from February 27 to March 6, 2018.                             

Respondents for this survey are selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls.  Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated.  All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options.

Q & A with JA College Student Volunteer

College Student Makes Difference with Young Students

As Zachary Robles walks on to shake the president’s hand of Kent University, his smile is not only for being the first generation to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Management, but for the pride he feels for having made an impact in his local community.

Managing full class schedules and contemplating future career paths, Robles made time to teach Junior Achievement programs in his local community. JA wanted to know how does a driven, hard-working college student fit JA into his life. This is what we found out!

 

JA: First off, congratulations on graduating from Kent University! What an accomplishment! With all of the extra-curricular options on campus, what made you choose JA?

Robles: Thank you for the best wishes on graduation. I’ve been through a lot and it still amazes me that I had the opportunity to complete something that hasn't been done in my family before. I'm the first generation to complete a Bachelor's Degree in Management. 

Simply put, I have pride in the next generation. I have tons of experience working with today's youth, from being a counselor to working as a mentor, along with 3 years of working with Junior Achievement. My main goal with doing Junior Achievement: Showing kids that it is important to make smart choices, because before they know it, they will be where I am at. I love to share my knowledge of business (and life) with them and if I can guide at least one kid to be successful, I can go to bed happy. 

 

JA: Wow! We love knowing young professionals, like yourself, believe in our mission! How do you feel the curriculum benefited and resonated with the students?

Robles: With the curriculum, I am beyond pleased with the resulting product Junior Achievement established. From my experience, my students always looked forward to each lesson, and they asked a TON of questions.

This type of engagement is what we need. Outside of the educational setting, I always have parents/teachers come up to me when their child recognizes me and say thanks for my work with the program. To sum up: This program, in my professional opinion, is very successful here in northeast Ohio. 

 

JA: As you have been a volunteer with JA for quite a while, do you have a favorite lesson or a favorite student engagement hack?

Robles: From my experience, I always LOVED lesson 4. (The Debit Card/Credit Card Savvy Shopper). Every time I teach this lesson, I actually make an amendment with the lesson and have the class work in groups. Here, I encourage the groups to work together for the answers, as I like to challenge that if each group gets X amount of questions right, I will reward them with donuts personally hand-delivered from me. This gets everyone excited and engaged. 

During the next period, I will review the material with them and once they answer the last question correctly, I like to "trick" them to think they got it wrong by walking out of the room for a second and coming back in with donuts as a reward. My teachers I was partnered with love this, as it adds a little comical twist to the curriculum. 

I can go on about how wonderful this program is. I will go even as far to say that if I am still in the area for the next couple of years, I will continue to teach it. Junior Achievement does an excellent job, I can't praise the organization enough. 

 

From all of us at Junior Achievement, congratulations Zachary for graduating and thank you for giving your time to set youth up for success in your local community. We cannot wait to hear about your accomplishments that lie ahead!

2018 National Student Leadership Summit

The Summit is Junior Achievement’s opportunity to celebrate the achievements of students from across the United States.

JA Companies develop and market a  product or service with the goal of realizing a profit for their shareholders. Reaching over 10,000 U.S. students during the 2016-17 school year, the JA Company Program gives teens the skills to start and run their own businesses under the mentorship of a local business volunteer.

This pinnacle event brings together 15 JA student companies to our nation's capital for three days of high-impact JA experiences.

The Summit features the JA Company of the Year powered by The Hartford, Delta Social Impact Award, the EY Innovation Award, the FedEx Access Award, and the ICE NYSE Foundation Best Financial Performance Award.

SPONSORS & JUDGES

Junior Achievement is thankful for the generous support received to execute the 2018 National Student Leadership Summit. 

The 2018 National Student Leadership Summit was made possible by our sponsors -- The Hartford, Delta Air Lines, EY, FedEx, and the Intercontinental Exchange, which owns the New York Stock Exchange.

JA COMPANY OF THE YEAR, powered by The Hartford

The JA Company of the Year Award was determined by the competing JA Company's Report, Entrepreneurship Expo performance, company presentation,  team interview performance, and the JA Company commercial.

First Place: Beelieve Inc. - Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio

Second Place: DEFY - Junior Achievement of the Chisholm Trail

Third Place: Silicube - Junior Achievement of Northern California

 

Company of the Year First Place-- Beelieve

 

 

 

 

 


JA Company of the Year Winners Beelieve Inc.

company of the year second place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Place Winners, DEFY.

Company of the year third place

 

 

 

 

 

 



Third Place Winners, Silicube.

DELTA SOCIAL IMPACT AWARD

Awarded to recognize the best JA Company that provides a solution to a local, national, or global problem.

Five finalists were identified at the 2018 NSLS Gala including Beelieve, BlockchainGirls, DEFY, Grater Paper, and Solupal.

Out of the five finalists, Beelieve, representing Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio, took home the 2018 Delta Social Impact title and award.

delta social impact award to beelieve

 

 

 

 

 


EY INNOVATION AWARD

To recognize the student company that has the most innovative product or service. 

BlockchainGirls, representing Junior Achievement of the Southern California, received the 2018 FedEx Access Award,

Five finalists for the 2018 EY Innovation Award included Beelieve, BlockchainGirls, DEFY, Grater Paper, and NuCool. Out of the five finalists running for the EY Innovation Award, DEFY, representing Junior Achievement of the Chisholm Trail, took home the 2018 award.

DEFY won the EY Innovation Award

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEDEX ACCESS AWARD

JA student company recognized for exhibiting the principles of global connectivity.

BlockchainGirls, representing Junior Achievement of the Southern California, received the 2018 FedEx Access Award. 

Block Chain Girls won the FEDEX Access Award

 

 

 






ICE NYSE BEST FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE AWARD

Recognizing the JA Company that best encompasses several aspects of financial responsibility.

Five finalists for the 2018 Intercontinental Exchange -- New York Stock Exchange, for the Best Financial Performance Award, included Alchemy Apparel, Alpha Solutions, DEFY, Pocket Perks, and Zen5ations.

Out of the five finalists, Pocket Perks, representing Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest, took home the 2018 Best Financial Performance Award.

pocket perks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JIM SWEENY 2018 AWARD RECIPIENT

Awarded to an individual of JA Company for accomplishments in a role within a JA Company and entrepreneurial potential. 

Eric Lin, President of Grater Paper Enterprise, was awarded the Jim Sweeny Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, which is provided by the JA Pioneers.

As a participant in JA programs for the past 5 years, Lin, a Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas student, received the $1,000 scholarship to go towards his continuation of education.

eric lin awarded jim sweeny award

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to see more NSLS? Check out our JA Alumni Ambassador's video HERE

Financial Literacy & High Schoolers

What is financial literacy?

Research conducted by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) found that one in five (22%) teenagers from the U.S. lack fundamental financial literacy skills. Basic skills that are included in financial literacy include the ability to budget, how to save, understanding the impact of credit and debt, investing to reach financial goals, and utilizing outlets like insurance companies in order to minimize future financial drains.

Why is financial literacy important for high schoolers?

While most high schoolers are not looking to invest their money for retirement, most high school students have or are experiencing part-time work, income and expenses, as well as setting future goals. At this stage in a teen’s life, it is crucial that they are looking towards financial goals they want to reach from higher education to a reliable car. With college around the corner, saving early will be a necessary step as well as understanding the process of taking out a loan. Students will also be expected to manage their money for the first time living on their own. As all of the responsibilities add up, it is crucial that high schoolers know how to manage their personal finances.

Teaching financial literacy to high schoolers

Teens know the financial responsibilities that lie ahead of them and they are eager to learn how they can manage all of them while attempting to do their own laundry. In fact, a study conducted on behalf of Junior Achievement and Ernst & Young LLP (EY) found 81% of teens would take a work/financial readiness class if it was offered to them. Which begs the question, how can you spark discussions with your students or child about preparing for their future.

Money Tools for….

 Parents and Teens at Home

  • Break out your family Monopoly board to help your teen get hands-on with saving, spending and investing concepts or Game of Life  to let them test-drive a career and make their own financial decisions!
  • Utilize the one thing that they ALWAYS have on them—their phone! Encourage your child to review their bank statements, explore options to start building their credit and seek out information about college loans.

 Teachers and High Schoolers in the Classroom

 

Financial Literacy & Middle Schoolers

Middle School Blog Infographic

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Financial Literacy?

Financial literacy is the all-inclusive concept of budgeting, management of credit, understanding of saving, spending and earning. Essentially, financial literacy is everything that involves your financial health.

Yet, one can’t consider being literate in finance by being able to balance a checkbook or being hired. The fundamentals of financial literacy look at present needs, as well as building skills to achieve long-term financial goals. Which, in order to be proficient, money management skills need to be used every day.

So, why might your middle-schooler need to learn money skills now? Just like learning to ride a bike or understanding the fundamentals of geometry, practice makes perfect.

“We were not taught financial literacy in school,” said Businessman and author, Robert Kiyosaki. “It takes a lot of work and time to change your thinking and to become financially literate.”

The earlier children are taught financial concepts, the higher the chances of them being able to achieve  financial milestones, such as purchasing a car, saving for college, and buying a home.

While right now, your child probably isn’t thinking ahead to graduating high school and preparing for college or for their first car; there is an opportunity for educators and parents to assist youth in financial mindsets NOW so that they can be better prepare for what lies ahead.

Financial Literacy Concepts for 11 – 14-Year-Olds

USA Today reported, “kids ages 4 to 14 received an average $454 in allowance over the course of 2017…” This figure doesn’t include cash gifts for birthdays or holidays. In a span of six years, a 6th grader could accumulate at least $2,724 by the time he or she was graduating high school.

Middle schoolers can become more confident in their money management skills by setting up a bank account and making a budget outlining their financial goals for the next 5 years and longer. Some goals they should consider include the cost of their first car, gas money, entertainment, like going to the movies or eating out, and college tuition. Not only will this allow for youth to feel more in control of their future, but it also provides a learning opportunity for children, their parents, and teachers.

Money Tools for…

Parents & Kids at Home

  • Make it a board-game night! Break out your family Monopoly board to help your child get hands-on with saving, spending and investing concepts, or play the Game of Life to let them test drive a career and make their own financial decisions!
  • Consider having your child manage their money using a prepaid debit card or phone app.  These tools allow parents to track spending and help their child understand their expenses. Most apps provide money insights through their expense manager, budget tracker, and more!

Teachers & Students in the Classroom

  • Junior Achievement (JA) provides various programs to assist in the learning and development of financial literacy skills. The best part? We provide our accomplished volunteers with the training they need to make the biggest impact on students.
    • Programs like JA Finance Park are a great way to have your student learn personal finance, budgeting money management, including saving and spending, along with an understanding of financial institutions while on the go!
    •  JA Global Marketplace gives students insights into the key aspects of the global economy, world trade, and how trade impacts their daily lives.
    • Have your student(s) explore entrepreneurship, higher education and career options in JA It’s My Business!

 

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