Friday, September 6, 2013


Junior Achievement USA® (JA) and the ING U.S. Foundation's 2013 Teens & Careers survey reveals a substantial year-over-year decline in teens' interest in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and medical-related fields. This is the 12th year the survey has been conducted.

While almost half (46 percent) of all teens surveyed showed interest in pursuing either a STEM or medical-related job, there was a 15 percent decrease from last year's data. Despite interest declining, the United States Department of Labor predicts employment opportunities in STEM careers will increase by 17 percent through 2018.

The survey highlighted 'passion' and 'area of interest' as the number one factor guiding teens' career choices. In order to spark interest among teens and build momentum for these growing fields, teens need assistance. They need mentors and programs that will help guide them through these major life decisions.

Other key findings from the survey include:

-- Eighty-three percent of teens are confident they will land their "dream" job at some point in their career but only five percent are pursuing an internship in their area of interest

-- Twenty-eight percent of teens are financially contributing in preparation of paying for college; this is 24 percent less than last year

-- Both the 2012 and 2013 studies indicated that teens' parents or guardians are the primary financial contributors for continuing education and training

-- 38 percent of teens said that the status of the economy has not affected their career plans; they feel comfortable with the economy because they can rely on parents and caregivers in terms of their futures

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