STEM SUBJECTS TOP THE CAREER CHOICE FOR IRISH STUDENTS

As almost 55,000 students await their Leaving Cert results tomorrow, an Irish survey has revealed that 86% of secondary school students believe that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects offer the best career opportunity. In addition the survey, which was commissioned by BT as organiser of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, also revealed that over 72% of secondary school students plan to study a STEM subject at third level.

Conducted through Facebook and Twitter, and completed by over one thousand respondents from 26 counties aged from 13 to 18 years, the survey also revealed that while 73% of students say that STEM subjects are promoted in their schools, 36% of respondents believe that boys receive more encouragement than girls to study these subjects.

Entrepreneurship and a career in technology also topped the list for respondents with 59% of students saying they would choose Mark Zuckerberg’s job. 18% of respondents said they would choose Barack Obama’s job, while the life of pop star Miley Cyrus received only 13% of votes.

It seems however, that these budding technology entrepreneurs have mixed views when it comes to their potential earnings. When asked how much money they expect to earn in their first year of full-time employment, the majority of respondents (39%) are expecting €15,000 – €30,000, 26% expect to earn €30,000 – €45,000 with an optimistic 13% expecting to earn over €45,000 in their first year at work. Conversely, 22% of respondents expect to earn less than €15,000 in their first year of full-time employment and of this 22%, 3% do not expect to be paid at all.

Commenting on the survey, Mari Cahalane, Head of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, said, “As a company that is built on innovation, we see every day how ideas can be transformed into life-changing technologies. We truly believe that STEM subjects are critical in continuing Ireland’s continued success as an innovative technology hub and it’s clear that our students feel the same.”

The 2015 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will take place in the RDS, Dublin from 7th -10th January 2015 and the closing date for entries is 1stOctober, 2014. There are over 120 awards to be won including the prestigious BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year which was won by Paul Clarke of St. Paul’s College, Raheny in January this year.

The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is organised by BT Ireland, one of the country’s leading communications and networked IT service providers, and is supported by a number of valued partners including the Department of Education & Skills, Analog Devices, Intel, Perrigo and RTE. For more information on the exhibition and for details on how to enter, log onto www.btyoungscientist.com or follow the exhibition on Twitter @BTYSTE.

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