Young people showing interest in maths, science

Fears for an IT skills gap brought on by declining interest in maths and science could be misplaced, according to research from Logicalis.

The survey of 1,000 students aged between 13 and 17 across England and Wales found that 30% of girls and 39% of boys believe that science, IT and engineering courses offer the best career prospects. In fact, of the course choices offered, science was the most popular choice for boys (37%), even ahead of sport (31%). Among girls, science ranked the same as media (17%).

The students’ decisions could be affected by worries over the recession and their employability. Only 29% of those interviewed said their decisions over university choices would be unaffected by the credit crunch. And while career prospects, employability and enjoyment were roughly equal motivators for course choice, money ranked the highest for both sexes.

While higher education is proving popular for its intrinsic benefits – 80% of boys and 70% of girls intended to pursue academic rather than vocational education – the students proved that when it comes to actually choosing a campus, they are not above bribery: 52% said a free laptop or iPhone would entice them to join a particular institution.

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