Interest for STEM Professions at School: Problems of Career Guidance

Interest for STEM Professions at School:
Problems of Career Guidance

Kolesnikova E.M.

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Senior Researcher, Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia

Kudenko I.А.

Cand. Sci. (Geography), Mast. Sci. (Polit.), Lead Adviser on Impact Evaluation, Education Development Trust, a UK-based international educational charity providing programme interventions, consulting services and public research, Berkshire, Great Britain

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Kolesnikova E.M., Kudenko I.А. Interest for STEM Professions at School: Problems of Career Guidance. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 4. P. 124-133


The popularization of technical and engineering professions and involvement of the most motivated and successful bright school students in them requires not just a development of interest for the core academic subjects of the school program, but shaping of ideas, views about future professions. Growing numbers of pre-professional classes help to attract students interested for school STEM subjects and future careers in STEM. But at the same time, a lack of attention from the other students to STEM competencies potentially contributes to the reducing of their social chances in the future. Lacking awareness of STEM professions at school is particularly important in reducing interest in such careers among girls, supporting gender imbalance in employment. The object of the study was students of high schools in Moscow, a region with high activity in the field of STEM career guidance. 305 schoolchildren took part in the survey. The survey was conducted in May 2019 and involved students enrolled in STEM profile classes with or without a different specialization. The survey used a questionnaire for students from the multinational project “ECB – InGenious Project”. The results suggest that the Russian and European communities of specialists in education, science, and engineering face common challenges in forming future STEM personnel.

sociology of professions; engineer; reproduction of engineering personnel; STEM; school; career guidance; career choice; gender stereotypes


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