Research into the subject and career choices of students across Ireland has revealed that 94% of secondary school students in Leitrim believe that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects offer the best career opportunity.
In addition the survey, which was commissioned by BT as organiser of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, revealed that over 76% of secondary school students in Leitrim plan to study a STEM subject at third level.
Conducted through Facebook and Twitter, and completed by over 1,000 students aged under 13-18 the survey took in a nationally representative sample across 26 counties.
The survey also revealed 76% of students in Leitrim say that STEM subjects are promoted in their schools, with 71% of respondents believing that boys and girls are encouraged equally to study STEM subjects.
Entrepreneurship and a career in technology also topped the list for Leitrim students with 53% saying they would most prefer Mark Zuckerberg’s job. Interestingly the job of US President and the life of a pop star are equally coveted in Leitrim with 18% of respondents saying they would choose Barack Obama’s job, and 18% opting for the glamorous lifestyle of Miley Cyrus!
It seems however, that these budding technology entrepreneurs have mixed views when it comes to their potential earnings. When asked how much money they expect to earn in their first year of full-time employment, in keeping with the national figures, the majority of respondents (47%) are expecting €15,000 - €30,000, 6% expect to earn €30,000 - €45,000, 12% expect between €45,000-€75,000. Conversely, 35% expect to be paid under €15,000 in their first year of employment.
The 2015 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will take place in the RDS, Dublin from 7th -10th January 2015 and the closing date for entries is 1st October, 2014. There are over 120 awards to be won including the prestigious BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year.