Impulso STEM perception study

We present the findings of the 2020 Impulso STEM perception study

  • The survey was conducted to learn about young people’s level of knowledge and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
  • Over 7 thousand students at public senior high schools in the state of Oaxaca took part in the survey conducted in July 2020.

Oaxaca, February 24, 2021.– Iberdrola México and the Universidad Tecnológica de los Valles Centrales de Oaxaca (UTVCO) presented today the 2020 Impulso STEM perception study, according to which 65 % of students in Oaxaca think that engineering degree programs offer more job options than other programs, but only 28 % believe they can pursue them.

The survey, conducted among more than 7,000 senior high school students in Oaxaca, shows the factors influencing the choice of scientific, technological, and mathematical studies, as well as the elements that help young people become aware of their scientific and technological vocation. Furthermore, it provides knowledge about the social and family context when choosing a degree program and about what young people think of career and life aspirations when choosing their academic education.

“It is a snapshot of the youth in Oaxaca. But it is mainly a critical tool for the vision of the future to which we aspire in the STEM degree programs”, said Alicia Valcarce, director of Fundación Iberdrola México, during the presentation of the survey findings.

The UTVCO rector, Nydia Delhi Mata Sánchez, stressed that this study is a significant and critical step in the educational work, “since the strategic bond with Iberdrola México is allowing us to promote the inclusion of more youngsters in the middle higher and higher scientific and technological education in Oaxaca”.

Some of the most important findings in the survey were the following:

  • 92% of students plan to enter the university, most of them, 59%, upon completion of their middle higher studies, while the rest want to start working or wait before starting university.
  • 69% affirm to be familiar with the areas of expertise in senior high school, but most of them responded to have little knowledge about the university degrees in each area.
  • 88% of students willing to enter university would like to know more about the total list of university degrees by area.
  • 6 out of 10 believe that their school helps students choose a university degree.
  • 32% of the students still do not know what they will study.

Regarding STEM education:

  • 75% of students are not familiar with the STEM programs and 55% say they have not received training in these fields.
  • Nevertheless, 51% contemplate studying degrees in areas 1 (physical- mathematical and engineering) and 2 (biological and health sciences).
  • The main factors considered by students when choosing a university degree are having a good salary (56%), the status (12%) and social impact (7%).
  • Engineering programs (65%) and those related to mathematics (63%) are considered the ones with more job options.
  • Students have a positive perception of STEM degree graduates, because of their high social prestige and well-paid jobs.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), currently 8 out of 10 best-paid jobs belong to STEM areas – electronic, system engineering, chemistry, environmental sciences, finance, applied mathematics, civil engineering, innovation, design, and mechanical engineering. Nearly 3.5 million job vacancies related to these disciplines are expected to be created in the next few years.

The perception study was conducted in July 2020. It included 7,234 students at public high schools in eight regions in Oaxaca (50% female and 50% male), with a 95% confidence level and a +/- 1.2% margin of error.

The survey will be periodically conducted to measure student progress in this type of education and to know the effectiveness of the Impulso STEM (STEM Boost), a program developed by Iberdrola México, the UTVCO and the UNAM´s Instituto de Energías Renovables (IER) to support educational development in the south-southeast of the country and encourage more students, mainly women, to become interested in these fields.

The initiative contemplates training for teachers and guidance counselors, workshops, and a scholarship program for students interested in studying engineering programs, in order to be successful from the beginning to the end.

For more information about the survey, please click here.

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