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72pc secondary students to study STEM

Tuesday, August 12 12:53:56

With the Leaving results due out, some 86pc of secondary school students believe that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects offer the best career opportunity.

That's according to a new survey from BT Ireland, which also found that 72pc of 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 73pc of students say that STEM subjects are promoted in their schools, 36pc 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 59pc of students saying they would most prefer Mark Zuckerberg's job. 18pc of respondents said they would choose Barack Obama's job, while the life of a pop star received only 13pc 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 (39pc) are expecting E15,000 - E30,000, 26pc expect to earn E30,000 - E45,000 with an optimistic 13pc expecting to earn over E45,000 in their first year at work. Conversely, 22pc of respondents expect to earn less than E15,000 in their first year of full-time employment and of this 22pc, 3pc 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 and Technology Exhibition will take place in the RDS, Dublin from 7th -10th January 2015 and the closing date for entries is 1st October, 2014.

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