Scientist shortage driven by lack of information on careers

Young people inspired by science in school are being lost to the field for lack of knowledge, know little or nothing about how to pursue a career in science and rely on their family for advice on how to do so, research suggests. This is from the Times…

Young people said they largely enjoyed science, especially in secondary school, and a high proportion thought it was a good area to work in. But 63 per cent of teenagers said they knew “not much” or “nothing” about opportunities to work as a scientist. Only 4 per cent said they knew a great deal about a career in science.

Asked who they turned to for advice and information about careers the most popular answer, cited by 67 per cent, was family. Next came a teacher (49 per cent), careers adviser (44 per cent) and friends (37 per cent).

Just 22 per cent said they had advice from someone working in the field and 14 per cent said they got information from an employer’s presentation.

The study, commissioned by the science charity the Wellcome Trust, shows the mismatch between the popularity of science, highlighted by figures such as the television presenter Professor Brian Cox, and the shortage of scientists and technology graduates.

More at:  Scientist shortage driven by lack of information on careers (subscription required) 

Any interesting ideas or examples of overcoming this information shortage to encourage more into careers in science? Please share in the comments below, on Twitter or by using this form 

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  1. DavidFoale

    I do not believe that neither career advisers nor teachers are well equipped to inform young people about the new and emerging careers. The ones I have spoken to have largely outdated ideas on what  now constitutes a Science,  Technology or Engineering job for that matter. Nor do they have the drive and enthusiasm with which to ‘set alight’ young peoples imagination and desire. We need a complete overhaul of how this is delivered to young people in the 21st Century.                                                           Just look at visits to schools by employers. Its always some familiar type of job, that is well established easy to understand and makes a product that you can see or touch. This is partly the fault of one group wanting to ‘feel comfortable’ about what is being presented, and also employers lack of vision. If u want to attract people to your company that makes, sells, licences or researches something that is new, innovative and not well understood, the devotes resources to increasing that demand by coming into schools, giving free presentations and expanding awareness of what your do to tomorrows workforce.

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