Pathways to a STEMM Career

Donte Education November 27, 2023

The selection of scientific and technical careers by American young adults has been and continues to be a major national concern. Using data from the 20-year record of the Longitudinal Study of American Youth (LSAY) and working within the social learning paradigm, this analysis uses a set of 21 variables to predict employment in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or medicine (STEMM) at ages 34 to 37. The LSAY is the longest and most intensive longitudinal study of the impact of secondary education and post-secondary education conducted in the United States. A structural equation model found that mathematics is a primary gateway to a STEMM career, beginning with algebra track placement in grades seven and eight and continuing through high school and college calculus courses. Home and family factors such as parent education and parent encouragement of science and mathematics during secondary school enhanced the likelihood of a young adult entering a STEMM profession.

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