Technology, engineering, medical, and other STEM-related fields dominate our modern workforce. While students have the talent and ability to perform well in today’s in-demand jobs, they struggle to find a balance between having the energy and the interest to pursue those fields.
YouScience, a company that provides aptitude-based tests, produced a 2022 Student Ability Report, which revealed whether or not young students are on an educational and interest-based trajectory to align with high-growth careers. The findings: probably not.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, millions of jobs in STEM will likely go unfilled. However, STEM jobs are also projected to grow faster than non-STEM fields. Compile this on top of the current US labor shortage, and our workforce is left with a glaring problem.
There Exists a Growing Gap
YouScience’s report found a skill vs. interest gap in our current workforce, which is one factor contributing to the US’s growing labor shortage. YouScience’s findings were analyzed based on 239,843 student aptitude tests and discovered four interesting results:
- Students have 5x the knack for energy careers than interest in the field
- Students have over 3x the capabilities for manufacturing jobs than interest in the field
- Students have over 2x the skills for computer-based careers than interest in the field
- Students have almost 2x the knack for health-based careers than interest in the field
Each field measured above is where career growth is expected yet lacks talent. However, people argue that there is a disconnect between workforce skills and student ambitions that an aptitude assessment simply cannot measure. More so, the problem isn’t a lack of talent but a lack of awareness, engagement, and interest in today’s in-demand fields.
Career Exposure & Engagement Creating Passion
Young students, especially high schoolers and below, need more than aptitude tests to guide their career into a passionate endeavor. Perhaps students lack passion for today’s in-demand jobs because they lack the right exposure and engagement within the array of professions available to them.
Educators and parents should nudge students to explore many career paths to help close the gap between skills and interests. That way, they can give in-demand jobs a thorough consideration instead of dismissing them as something they “may not” be interested in pursuing. Additionally, educators should prioritize experiences and engagement in career exploration programs. By offering students the opportunity to experience real-world career situations in an engaging atmosphere, they can ultimately make the most of their continued education and find a fulfilling, and perhaps unexpected, place in the workforce.
How to Engage Students in Real-World Experiences?
Engaging students across all levels—communication, coursework, activities, etc.—is essential to peak the interests of young minds in terms of today’s job roles. Choosing the right methods of information delivery and collaboration can make all the difference, too.
CADimensions offers tools like SOLIDWORKS and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to offer students exposure to industry leading software and better understand real-world projects. They also provide a collaborative online platform for students to work with educators and their peers as well as STEM-based certifications to increase students’ ability to land internships or entry-level positions. 3DEXPERIENCE fuses technology with education, creating an instructive virtual environment that helps improve students’ passion for what they are learning.
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