PhD Scientific Days 2023

Budapest, 22-23 June 2023

Mental Health Sciences - Posters M

Who wants to be an engineer? Context of secondary school students' STEM further education plans

Lilla Becsei1
Fruzsina Albert2
1 Semmelweis University, Mental Health Sciences Doctoral School; Budapest, Hungary
2 Semmelweis University, Institute of Mental Health; Budapest, Hungary

Text of the abstract

Young people face challenges in their further education and career choices. Technological and environmental changes are significantly reshaping the world of work and the education that prepares people for it. Despite the social importance of the topic, we have limited knowledge about the process of young people's career choices and the factors that determine their decisions.
In our research, we investigate how students' interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and their plans for further education are shaped by school performance indicators, career interest, relationship effects and information use. We examine how the type and geographical location of the school are related to the career plans.
In our national longitudinal secondary school survey, we examine students in grade 11 in the school year 2022/2023. Data collection for the first year of the survey is currently underway, but our current sample of 704 people also allows for testing. Data collection was based on a stratified random selection of 11th grade schools based on the records of the Education Office and the Vocational Education Information System. From our database, 100 schools were selected based on region, the educational authority and number of 11th grade students. Students are examined through educators using an online questionnaire. In the current sample we examined data from 704 students.
In our oral presentation, we show how students' demographic characteristics, school grades, career knowledge and interests correlate with their further learning plans. We compare our results with the conclusions of previous international research.
Our results show that the relationship between STEM marks at school and interest in STEM studies is not clear. Girls who score high in maths also do well in other subjects, developing an interest in STEM+M (medical) careers, but they are more rejecting of hard STEM careers. Our available data highlight strong gaps in career knowledge and provide a basis for interventions that focus on the uniqueness of groups of boys and girls.
The Alliance for Future Engineers are to donate book packages to participating schools to enhance their motivation to help the data collection effort. The research activity of the doctoral candidate has been supported by a grant from DiákHitel Központ which has been spent on the data collection.