Technical careers suffer a considerable drop despite the existing labor demand

Demand for professionals with technology, science, engineering or mathematics profiles does not stop growing, in fact there are at least 10,000 vacancies in this sector in Spain, but despite this growing demand from companies, fewer and fewer students are interested in this type of technical training.

The number of enrolled in careers such as Architecture or Engineering has fallen by almost 30% between 2010 and 2017, according to data published by the Ministry of Education included in the study “The challenge of STEM vocations”.

In this publication, produced by the DigitalES association and the consulting firm EY, with the help of the Transforma Foundation, HP and the SM publishing house, they were able to analyze the current situation through different databases from public sources and more than 2,000 surveys carried out to all affected groups (VET students, secondary school students, university students, teachers, directors...)

Lack of vocation and orientation

There is a lack of vocation in this type of career, which is mainly due to academic difficulty and also to a lack of guidance and knowledge. In fact, 65% of the students surveyed admit that they are not clear about what type of career path they are going to choose, because they are undecided about which branch to choose.

More than half of the principals surveyed believe that the teachers at their centers do not have enough information to be able to guide students when choosing itineraries. This results in a lack of guidance for students and only 38% of them, according to this report, are really clear about what they want to study. The rest change their itinerary either to choose a career with a professional outlet, because they start a career that they don't quite like, due to family pressure or some type of influence.

The 40% of the respondents in this study states that the lack of vocation in technical careers is due to academic difficulty. During secondary education, 73% of students acknowledge having difficulties understanding mathematics and only 27% of those surveyed feel really confident in being able to solve these problems.

All of this indicates that we are experiencing a major failure in the educational system, caused by insufficient training and this affects, among other cases, that many children do not dare to opt for technical careers, since by not receiving truly adapted training many of them lose interest in these types of subjects.

The directors, according to the report, agree on the need for subjects related to technology and ICT to be mandatory, as is already the case in other countries such as Poland, where students have technology and computing as core subjects, starting from ten years.

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