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Study finds gender disparities between male and female graduates

YouScience released a report that found male grads felt more prepared for life after high school than female grads.

Jeri Larsen, Chief Operating Officer at YouScience, said 50% of females knew that CTE courses were available at their high school compared to 70% of males. This is even more significant when you consider a past YouScience finding that career oriented classes like CTE courses were crucial in developing skills that will improve confidence after graduation.

“It's not a skill gap. skills can be learned by anyone, right?” Larsen said. “It is absolutely an exposure gap.”

Larsen also highlights a disparity between aptitude and interest for females among male dominated fields. The ratio of female aptitude to interest in fields like computer tech and health sciences is 2-to-1, where as in careers such as advanced manufacturing, female students have 10 times the aptitude than interest. Within energy fields, Larsen found a striking 30 times greater aptitude than interest.

“Their brains can go crush it. But they're like, wait, what? That's not something I've thought of right?” Larsen said. “If you can think about like, would we have solved like… what would we have solved if we had channeled all of these brilliant female brains in this direction for centuries?”

Larsen said that not all brains work the same, so why are we pushing students into the same path? By helping educators encourage career based learning, students will be able to see which areas they thrive in, which will encourage interest in those areas.

“When our students succeed, all of us succeed,” Larsen said. “Every single student needs to understand what's in it for them, so that they can understand what pathway they need to take, so that they can be in a career that makes them happy."

A long time lover of NPR and radio reporting, Clayre Scott joined UPR in August of 2021 as the producer of the weekly podcast UnDisciplined. She began reporting in 2022 and now enjoys telling stories through sound and getting weekly texts from her family after hearing her on the radio. Along with her work at UPR, Clayre is attending Utah State University to get her degree in Broadcast Journalism, with time on the side to study Political Science and Art History.