Student career planning
STEM fields are top choice for Gen Z students, new NSHSS survey finds
The results of a survey of more than 11,000 American high school and college students by the National Society of Secondary School Scholars in February and early March, offer insight into the career choices of Gen Z and show that a majority of respondents are considering future jobs in STEM fields.
The 2022 Career Interests Survey surveyed 11,495 “high-achieving” students born after 1997 in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. overseas military bases and U.S. territories, according to the report. NSHSS survey.
About three-quarters of respondents were high school students, according to the report, and about 40% were white, 19% black, 17% Latino, 10% Asian American/Pacific Islander, 8% multiracial, and 1% Native American/Alaskan Native. .
Here are the main findings of the NSHSS survey report:
Job and Career Outcomes
- More than one in four students said they plan to keep their first full-time job for a year or less.
- 82% of respondents – mainly high school students – plan to do an internship before their first job.
- STEM fields were the top choice of career fields for respondents, and that response continues to grow, especially among students of color, according to the report.
- 27% said they planned to enter a medical or health-related field.
- 20% said they were considering working in healthcare.
- 19% said they plan to enter a business or corporate career field.
- 18% said they were planning a career in engineering.
- 18% said they were planning a career in science.
- 16% said they were planning a career in business.
- 12% said they were planning a career in technology.
- 7% said they were planning a career in math.
- Of the career fields that respondents said they had “moved away from”, education (17%), arts (14%) and law (14%) were the three most popular.
- When asked about working for the government, the three most attractive agencies among respondents were the CIA (31%), the FBI (29%) and the CDC (27%).
- Less than a quarter of respondents, 23%, rated the remote work option as “very important” or “extremely important” as they grew tired of online learning and crave in-person experiences, said the NSHSS.
Conclusions on benefits and compensation:
- Respondents ranked health benefits, flexible working hours and time off as more important to them than salary.
- Median salary expectations for their first full-time job were $50,000 to $69,999,000.
- 67% said they want jobs that will provide opportunities to continue learning skills that will advance their careers.
- 63% said they expect their future employer to provide in-person training.
- 44% said they expect their future employer to help them repay their student loans.
- 38% said they expect their future employer to offer tuition reimbursement for a master’s or other postgraduate degree.
Study plans and family situation
- 24% said they would be the first in their family to attend university – an increase from the 2020 survey, the NSHSS said. This figure represents growing proportions of students of color indicating that they plan to be the first in their family to attend college:
- 45% Latinos
- 33% Native Hawaiian
- 30% Native American/Alaska Native
- 27% Other
- 24% multiracial
- 22% Asian American/Pacific Islander
- 21% Black
- 19% White
- The percentage of respondents planning to attend tertiary education continues to decline, from 81% in 2016 and 62% in 20202 to 59% in the latest survey, the NSHSS said.
Download the full investigation report at NSSSS website.