Students’ Interest in Science and Career Goals
Students’ interest in science and technology has been a matter of concern in many countries recently. This is happening even as demand for science and technology graduates is growing significantly. Studies have found that the absolute number of students in science and technology has risen with the increased access to high levels of education. However, the relative number of science and technology students has been found to decline with female students lagging behind as usual.
The declining enrollment in science and technology is often associated with the students’ perception that science subjects are more difficult than the other subjects.
Most students tend to ignore the career prospects that science and technology provides and instead base their interest on other subjects. Decisions concerning study and career paths depend on the interest in a specific field and job prospects in the same field. The content of education and curricula plays a vital role in developing as well as maintaining interest in science among students. Positive contacts between students and science during their early age have a long-lasting impact. On the other hand, negative experiences such as uninteresting content and poor teaching affects students’ future choices negatively. The choice of subjects is gender-dependent and this can be associated with the pressures as well as external expectations facing female students.
Encouraging students’ to study science can be done by making physics and chemistry compulsory in school curricula. Motivation is another way where highly paying jobs are guaranteed after graduation in the field of science and technology. According to Lyons (2006), students should be educated on the need to study science and teachers should be trained appropriately. Flexible curricula should be designed to improve the knowledge and image of science and technology careers. All this should be done in institutional, national and international levels to make a sensible impact.
Lyons, T. (2006). Different countries, same science classes: students’ experiences in their own words. International Journal of Science Education, 28, 591-613.