Pathways to Science Careers Exploring Perceptions of Science Educators and Professionals on Being a Scientist

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Sarah L. Ferguson
Lesa DeShield Givens


One function of modern education has been to prepare students for future college and/or career pathways. Particular attention in the US is given to preparation in STEM career fields. However, we may not be effective in advising students towards some STEM careers. This qualitative interview study evaluates the perspectives of stakeholders in science career preparation, including high school teachers and counselors, community college and university faculty, and science industry professionals. Interviews were conducted to explore participant perceptions on skills and dispositions students need to be successful in science careers. Results are presented focused on areas of agreement and areas of difference between the stakeholder groups, and specific recommendations for practical change in science career development are discussed.

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Research / Empirical