Young adults place less importance on STEM subjects
According to a new YouGov survey, fewer ‘millennials’ (aged 18-34 years) think it’s important to teach STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects at primary and secondary school than do ‘baby boomers’ (aged 51-69 years) despite them growing up in an age shaped by technology.
Among US respondents, 7% of the younger age group said they didn’t consider any of the four core subjects important to teach compared to 3% of the post-war generation. The contrast is even more stark among millennial respondents from Great Britain with 4% not valuing the subjects compared to 1% of their older counterparts. The online survey, conducted in late December 2014, questioned over two thousand adults in each country
From the majority that do believe in the importance of the subjects, in both nations and both age categories, the importance of mathematics was stressed by more than any other subject - in the UK, 82% millennials, 92% baby boomers; in US 75% millennials, 88% baby boomers. Engineering was considered important by the least number of people (in the UK 46% millennials, 51% baby boomers; in US 42% millennials, 46% baby boomers).
These results follow a report from Engineering UK that states the UK does not have either the current capacity or the rate of growth needed to meet the forecast demand for skilled engineers by 2020.
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