Study Type: Survey
Principal Investigator: Global Strategy Group
Project Description: This is a report on a series of national online surveys of high school students and parents. The report focuses on respondents’ perceptions of and interest in the field of engineering, and discusses communications strategies designed to increase the accessibility and appeal of engineering careers. The surveys took place between May and October 2022.
Key Findings: In 2022, DiscoverE and Global Strategy Group conducted a year-long research project to find out what today’s teens and parents think about engineering. They found:
- The students most interested in engineering look like the current demographic of engineers. Their research showed that targeted messages and profiles of engineers who look like the students doing things the students were interested in can spur interest in engineering among the groups that would ensure a more diverse future for the field.
- While engineering has a “concrete” image and gender divide (24 percent of males and 11 percent of females are very interested in the field), when messages reflect a student’s gender or racial affinity, it can increase their interest in engineering.
- Parents have a positive view of engineering (58 percent say it’s a very good career choice). They are their child’s most trusted advisor, though role models who work in a field a student is considering are tied for third place alongside close friends. Parents can be allies in encouraging their child to consider engineering.
- Students and their parents prioritize going to college over starting a career right away. Financial security is a top career concern for both.
- It is news to most students and their parents that many careers in engineering don’t require a bachelor’s degree.
Study Citation: Global Strategy Group. “Messages Matter: Full Research Findings – February 2023.” Published by DiscoverE Engineering. Retrieved from https://discovere.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Messages-Matter-Full-Research-Report-Feb-2023.pdf.
Executive summary here.
Full report here.
The Key Findings above were reproduced from the published report and do not necessarily reflect interpretation of Overdeck Family Foundation staff.