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Page 6-88 ⇒A STEM System�

Choosing a Career and a College Major Parents and family friends often provide useful career information to young persons. However, circumstances and the nature of work in a modern society often deny young people from being able to understand the careers of some of the people closest to them. Thus, making choices that affect careers is a critical decision many high school students delay until more information can be assessed. Many make choices they regret later. (One male friend of Modeler chose to major in chemistry, with no regrets, because of attraction to a young lady in a registration line different from his initial choice.)

High school students expecting to have a career in a STEM area likely will find their field of choice much different than they imagined originally. Too late they may discover previously unknown areas of great attraction. Some will prepare for disappearing fields; others will stumble into fields that did not exist when they made their original selection. Students who have been traumatized in early STEM classes may exclude careers from consideration in which they could have excelled. Many students lack the intimate knowledge/information even to help them separate the work of scientists from that of engineers – or how these general fields often merge in a single career.

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As high school graduation time approaches, students can be divided into two groups: 1) those with specific career goals who know what they will be doing for the next several years, and 2) those who are confused about career goals and what they should do next. Many of those in Group 1 will find they were inadequately informed and will change goals and college majors. Those in Group 2 may muddle along for several years and may never be satisfied with their career choices. Whether clueless or a goal changer, a student may experience much unnecessary expense, time loss, and emotional upset caused by access to inadequate information about potential careers. Figure 6-05 demonstrates some of the elements impacting career choices and relevant information. ⇒A STEM System⇐ naturally incorporates career information opportunities by including a STEM Catalyst in each Student Project. By working in a specific field, the STEM Catalyst should be aware of growth/decline parameters, income potential, advancement possibilities, and the many pros/cons that affect the specific career. These are the best career information resources as identified by a Rand Corporation study.

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Instant Access to the world’s information

Choosing a Career Career Choices

+ Aptitude testing



School counselors and teachers

1/3 of young people unhappy with major/career choice*

+ Delay in choosing major at most colleges

Best career information resource – people working in the career.*


However, only 17% had access to a person in the career.*

Hundreds of choices available

With ⇒A STEM System⇐, all students have access to 12 or more STEM Catalysts, who are specialists in STEM careers, over a 3 or 4 year period.

+ Ease of changing college majors

Figure 6-5

*Rand Corporation study of 22,000 young people, 2017

Career decisions  
Career decisions