High school students' STEM interests and career aspirations in Qatar: An exploratory study
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This study sought to explore high school students' interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related disciplines and careers in the context of Qatar. Quantitative data was collected using a survey of 1492 high school students in grades 11–12. The normality tests (Shapiro-Wilk test and Kolmogorov Smirnov test) revealed the non-normal distribution of data, leading to employing non-parametric analyses, including Mann Whitney U test, Kruskal Wallis H, and logistic regression. Results indicated that whereas students' interest in mathematics and science subjects was aligned with their likelihood to pursue STEM careers, however, their interest in engineering and technology doesn't line up with their STEM career aspirations. The findings also revealed the variability of students' STEM interests across gender and nationality. In general, female students exhibited higher STEM interests than their male counterparts, while specially expatriates were more inclined toward STEM than Qatari nationals. Overall, these findings postulate the need to improve the exposure of males in general and Qatari nationals specifically to STEM fields of study, particularly the subjects of engineering and technology, to meet the goals of Qatar's National Vision 2030.
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