Preferences for studying STEM careers among high school students in Arequipa (Peru)

Iván Montes-Iturrizaga, Eduardo Franco-Chalco, Klinge Orlando Villalba-Condori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An investigation was carried out to determine the vocational preferences of 1159 students (764 males and 392 females) in the last two years of secondary school in the province of Arequipa (Peru) in the light of sociodemographic and family variables. The emphasis was directed to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) degrees and with the intention of knowing their specific distribution by areas of knowledge. The most relevant results show the existence of a preference for engineering degrees and where natural sciences did not merit significant preferences. In this scenario, it was found that men showed more interest in engineering compared to women. However, there was no difference in preference for natural science degrees between males and females. In addition, parochial school students are more likely to prefer natural science degrees over other degrees. These findings are discussed from an epistemological perspective based on critical realism, which proposes -among other aspects- the transcendental relevance of natural sciences and mathematics for the sustained, relevant and harmonious development of engineering.

Translated title of the contributionPreferencias por estudiar carreras STEM en estudiantes de secundaria de Arequipa (Perú)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-183
Number of pages13
JournalPublicaciones. Facultad de Educación y Humanidades del Campus de Melilla
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • realistic epistemology
  • scientific development
  • scientific planning
  • technological development
  • vocational preferences


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