Growing industries in science and technology have more job openings than workers who can do the jobs. As a result, improving America’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education has become a top priority. Yet, a new national report finds that while student interest in STEM majors and careers has risen over the last decade, that interest fades the closer students get to high school graduation.
One solution, according to thousands of schools across the country, is the Personalized Career Readiness System from WIN Learning, a national leader in career readiness initiatives, with more than 10 million learners worldwide.
The report — “Where Are the STEM Students? What Are Their Career Interests? Where Are the STEM Jobs?” which was covered by U.S. News and World Report on Jan. 31 — shows that nearly 28 percent of high school freshmen express an interest in pursuing a STEM major or career each year. However, 57 percent of those students will lose interest in STEM by their senior year.
“The challenge for educators is to keep students engaged and excited about STEM as they progress through high school,” said Kathy D’Antoni, assistant state superintendent for the West Virginia Division of Technical, Adult and Institutional Education. “One easy way to do this is to show students the relevance and the connection between what’s happening in the classroom and in their futures. By matching a student’s education to workforce requirements and giving students a personalized path to prepare for success in careers and college, educators can increase student learning, motivation and achievement in STEM or any subject area.”
WIN’s Personalized Career Readiness System is a series of standards-aligned web-based programs that helps students understand and prepare for the realities of the workplace through personalized project-based learning and career exploration. It provides real-time career and job analysis data to inform pathways, a universal screener to assess foundational skills, and instructional courseware to improve proficiency and close skill gaps.
“Our Personalized Career Readiness System allows teachers and counselors to bridge the gap between school and the workplace with real-time labor market information for key industries in STEM fields,” said Joseph Goins, executive vice president of WIN Learning. “When students can see things like current and projected wages, job demand, employer needs, and employer gaps where opportunities are waiting, they make the pivotal connection between their education and their ability to work and earn a living — which is crucial to keep students engaged and motivated through graduation and beyond.”
With STEM jobs expected to rise in the coming years, there will continue to be a growing national interest in encouraging more students to pursue education and careers in these fields. The report estimates that there will be more than 8.6 million STEM jobs in the United States in 2018, up from 7.4 million today.
Since 1996, WIN has become the leading provider of career readiness solutions to help districts prepare pathways for students’ futures, whether they are college, trade school, military or workplace bound. To date, more than 10 million students worldwide have participated in the specialized career–driven courseware and education intervention initiatives as well as career-readiness certification programs. For more information, go to www.winlearning.com or call 888-717-9461.
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