The lack of guidance and academic difficulty are two key factors in the drop of enrollment in technical careers, according to the conclusions of the study “The challenge in STEM vocations,” presented this Tuesday, September 24 in Madrid and attended by Proa Communicación. The report, carried out by the Asociación DigitalES and, and assisted by Altran, analyzes the reasons for this drop, trying to offer solutions as to why Spanish students diregard matters related to technological development.

Some of the data in the study is quite worrying and demand, as was evident during the presentation, a quick response from all involved parties. Thus, 30% of secondary school students have not taken any technological subject, since it is always presented as optional and depends of the offerings avaiblable at each school.

59% of the school directors surveyed in the report consider that the teachers in their centers do not receive the necessary training to guide students in choosing their scheudles. In this regard, it should also be noted that only 3% of the teachers who have participated in the study are specialized in mathematics, technology or ICT. This percentage was specifically referred to by the Minister of Education and Vocational Training, Isabel Celaá, during her speech at the event. She said that it is necessary to form “a comprehensive training plan” for teachers that allows them to offer current knowledge on STEM matters.

Only 25% of Girls are Studying Engineering

On the other hand, the report concludes that only 25% of the girls chose to study engineering in 2018, however 55% of university students were female. The results of the study show that STEM enrollment is decreasing more amongst girls than boys.

The data shows girls having less self-confidence than boys, identifying having more difficulties than them in understanding mathematics and problem solving (78% vs. 67%).

Among the recommendations listed in DigitalES Association’s report, they suggest promoting a more social vision of technical careers, increasing the visibility of female role models in these subjects, and training teachers in these fields to better guide students in academic decision making.

Download the report here