Analysis of Utah’s 23K Aptitude Assessments Shows Big Gaps Between Students’ Talents and Career Interests – THE Journal
Analysis of 23K Aptitude Assessments in Utah Shows Big Gaps Between Talents and Professional Interests of Students
YouScience, a provider of skill-based assessments, personalized career guidance, and industry-recognized certifications, today released its new statewide talent report of more than 23,000 middle and high school students in Utah, which shows a significant gap between students’ aptitude and their career interests. , according to a press release.
“While Utah students have the talents needed for Utah’s in-demand careers, many students aren’t interested in these fields,” YouScience told YouScience. “The results indicate a potential ‘career exposure gap’, meaning that students who are naturally talented in areas such as computing, technology and manufacturing show little interest in these areas, often due to lack of exposure to existing opportunities and awareness of their own abilities.
The findings are based on YouScience’s analysis of anonymized results of YouScience Discovery’s ability-based career counseling assessments completed by more than 23,000 middle and high school students in Utah.
In an effort to close the so-called career exposure gap, educators in Utah are using YouScience Discovery, which assesses each student’s natural talents and strengths, then presents each student with a wide variety of career opportunities. related to its identified strengths. YouScience Discovery assessments have been made available to Utah schools statewide for the 2021-2022 school year.
“YouScience Discovery provides students with insight into how their natural talents translate into careers where they are naturally wired to perform well and find satisfaction, and can often be more successful,” the company said in its announcement. . “Natural talents can be detected as early as middle school, giving educators and parents time to ensure students are building on their natural strengths through course selection and ultimately choices. college and career.”
Key Findings Among Middle School Student Assessments:
Results from 15,730 assessments completed by middle school students in Utah found a misalignment between students’ interests and abilities, representing an exposure gap “where students haven’t had sufficient visibility about the careers and career opportunities where they could be most successful,” the report said. .
Specifically, data from middle school students in Utah showed these shortcomings:
- IT and technology: Students had 2-3 times more aptitude for these careers than interest
- Advanced manufacturing: Female students had 11 times more aptitude for careers in this field than interest
- Finance: Male students had 4 times more aptitude for careers in finance than interest
- Arts and media: Unlike other fields, students had almost 3 times more interest than aptitude
Top Findings Among Utah High School Students
YouScience analyzed the top 50 career matches for Utah high schoolers based on recommendations based on interests and abilities solely from YouScience Discovery results. Results from 7,847 high school students show:
- 74% of the top 50 recommendations based on professional interests directed students towards more traditional social and artistic careers.
- None of the top 50 interest-based recommendations directed students into high-demand careers like engineering, healthcare, and technology.
- In contrast, 50% of YouScience Discovery’s aptitude-based recommendations directed students toward high-demand careers such as engineering, healthcare, and technology.
Many students, especially young women, don’t imagine themselves in high tech or other in-demand careers, due to personal or cultural biases, YouScience said. “The disparity between aptitude and interest in young girls persists beyond middle school. High school aptitude results indicate that female high school students have more than 4 times more aptitude than interest in careers in architecture and engineering.
“There was a huge disconnect between what students were taking in high school and what they wanted to do or what they actually did when they left high school,” said Jeri Marshall, middle school coordinator and from the career center at Provo High School in Provo, Utak. “For years we have searched for a way to connect the two and we have found it with YouScience Discovery. By integrating skills, we can steer students towards in-demand careers that students have an innate talent for and that are interested in. It’s a win-win.
For more information about YouScience, visit www.youscience.com. Find the full report on the Utah Talent Report website.
Kristal Kuykendall is the editor of 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].