Careers that Change the World Brochures: Will High-Scoring SAT Students Pursue the Geosciences?

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Monday, August 19, 2013
In February, 2012 and April, 2013, AGI’s Workforce Program sent brochures about geoscience careers to approximately 18,000 high school students who scored well on the SAT and indicated intent to pursue a STEM degree. Students’ test scores ranged from 520 to 800 for Critical Reading and Writing, and from 530 to 800 for Math. Currents #74 examines some of the dynamics of these student populations.
State of Residency
California has the most high-scoring students who indicated their intent to pursue STEM careers. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Texas all had seemingly insignificant differences between each state from 2012 to 2013.
Intended Major
The graph is a subset of the top intended majors that students indicated they wanted to pursue. Notice how in February 2012, only 2% of students were undecided, whereas in 2013, 47% of students were undecided. Other intended majors in 2012 included Engineering (7%), Biological & Biomedical Science (4%), Mechanical Engineering (3%), Chemical Engineering (3%) and Pre-Medicine (2%), but were not explicitly listed in the 2013 data. Additionally, two geoscience majors were listed, Oceanography and Environmental Sciences, which may reflect an explicit interest in geoscience subjects, and by extension, geoscience careers. Aerospace, Computer Science and Marine Science majors all had a clear increase from 2012 to 2013.