Young people are more likely to consider studying or working in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These insights are part of the 2022 STEM Equity Monitor and are based on data from YouthInsight’s Youth in STEM research project. In mid-2021, YouthInsight asked 3,154 young people about their perceptions and attitudes to STEM.
38% of respondents said they had reconsidered their study and career options as a direct result of COVID-19. For many young people, this meant an increased interest in studying STEM. This was particularly true for girls, with 20% of them (and 16% of boys) more likely to choose STEM subjects in future thanks to the pandemic.
Interest in science saw a large boost, with 26% of girls and 25% of boys saying they were more likely to study or work in this field due to COVID. But the biggest increase among the STEM fields was in technology, with 26% of girls and 32% of boys now more likely to study or work in this area. That could be due to the increased importance of tech to help us work, learn and socialise over the past few years.
Perceptions of science also improved in 2021, with significantly more young people saying that scientists make a positive difference in the world compared to 2020.
These are just some of the interesting insights in the 2022 STEM Equity Monitor. Updated every year, the Monitor is a national data resource on the state of STEM gender equity in Australia.