The future of scientific research is going to depend on how young students decide to pursue their studies, according to a new report.
The report, which was released Tuesday by the National Center for Science Education, surveyed 1,000 students across the country and found that a majority of students were interested in pursuing their degrees in the sciences and humanities.
Only 27% of the 1,078 students surveyed said they were interested only in a career in the arts.
Only 12% said they wanted to pursue a career as a journalist, compared to 38% who said they would pursue a business degree.
In general, students said they are interested in both careers in science and humanities, the report said.
The researchers noted that the public health workforce, which is largely made up of the underrepresented communities of minority students, is especially difficult to recruit for.
More than 40% of students who identified as having a disability said they did not have the financial resources to pursue an arts degree.
“It’s an unfortunate situation, but I think there are some things that could be done,” said Michael Wojciechowski, executive director of the National Science Education Association, which released the report.
“We need to make sure that we’re not turning away talented people because we don’t have the funding or the resources.”
He added that the report also highlights the importance of mentoring, particularly among the under-represented groups, which could help address the issues of racial and socioeconomic disparities in science education.
The report comes on the heels of a similar report by the Center for American Progress and the Center of American Progress Action Fund that found that the number of science teachers in the United States is declining.
In 2018, the American Association of University Professors released a report on science education in the country.
The group found that “scientific illiteracy” among teachers was on the rise and the rate of poor science literacy among science teachers was double the national average.
That number rose to 42% in 2020 from 21% in 2017, the authors said.