University of Oulu

Relationship between students’ STEM interests and future career aspirations

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Author: Akinwande, Akinwale1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
Pages: 55
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : A. Akinwande, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-06-28
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Lämsä, Joni
Kunnari, Jenni
Reviewer: Timonen, Laura
Lämsä, Joni


Despite the crucial role of STEM professionals in the economic and technological development of nations, including Finland, there is a lack of student motivation to pursue STEM-related careers. To address this issue, this study investigates the factors that contribute to compulsory basic school students’ career aspirations in STEM fields, with emphasis on understanding different groups of students based on their STEM career aspirations, preferred information sources, and perceived characteristics of future professions. The data for this study was collected from 1454 grade 8 students, aged 14 to 15 years old, who are enrolled in Finland’s nine-year primary and secondary compulsory basic education. A Likert scale questionnaire was used to gather the data, and analysis included mean, standard deviation, cluster analysis, and Kruskal-Wallis test. The findings revealed that students were divided into three types of STEM career interests (No STEM, medical STEM, and general STEM). Moreover, workplace visits and TET practices were the most preferred sources of information for students in both STEM career aspiration groups, while counselling outside school was the least preferred. The study’s findings also show that medical STEM students prefer jobs that involve working with and assisting people, whereas general STEM students prefer jobs that promote technological development. The study emphasizes the importance of educating teachers and guidance counsellors about STEM careers, incorporating students’ interests into STEM curricula, and developing effective interventions for future careers in STEM.

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Copyright information: © Akinwale Akinwande, 2023. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.