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What is the most popular STEM major for girls What is the least popular STEM major for girls?

I tried googling this, but nothing came up. Are girls more prone to joining technology majors, less prone to joining math majors, etc,

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Cristina’s Answer

I have studied mathematics because I loved it, without thinking what is most profitable or popular. It was not popular and I was criticised a lot by everybody.

Now I work in supply chain software doing optimization and I love it. There are very few women doing what I do and because of my mathematical skills I am excellent and in very high demand.

You need to chose something you love which is an expression of yourself and later you will find a way to also earn good money out of it. Doing what you love is always better than doing what you think would bring you more money or what you think other people expect of you or what is popular. I am not saying this is why you asked this question but just in case :).

Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for sharing your story and the encouragement! Genevieve
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Elliot’s Answer

Whenever I see people asking about "most popular" this or "easiest" that I think they miss the point. Life and work are not popularity contests and there will be easy days and difficult, challenging days no matter what you do. But when you are INSPIRED to do work you ENJOY, and find purpose in it, it matters less that you'll face challenges because overall the struggles and learning curves are WORTH the sweat and effort to conquer. I say put your curiosity into finding out what aspects of STEM (encompassing many, many different areas) you really connect with and can develop a passion for. Being a Nuclear Physicist or Biochemist may not the most popular occupations and they are not easy to master but I bet they really fascinate some people doing it who wouldn't want to do anything else. I just take pleasure in doing my work reasonably well without regard of who champions it. Those are just 2 examples but it applies to any STEM area. Find your passion and purpose then work hard. Celebrate small victories on the journey to success. Who knows, you may even become "popular" in the process or get involved in a popular STEM area, but now you know that wasn't really the goal. On the other side of the coin, you may find that doing what you like is UN-popular...you may want to do it anyway. Sure we all want to please our bosses and do well, but popularity is a tough contest. Its really all about what YOU enjoy and find meaning in.
Thank you comment icon Thank you Elliot! Genevieve
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Hassan’s Answer

https://www.stemwomen.com/women-in-stem-percentages-of-women-in-stem-statistics, https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/digest/fod-women/, and https://www.forbes.com/sites/markkantrowitz/2022/04/07/women-achieve-gains-in-stem-fields/?sh=32c646415ac5 have some interesting stats on this.

Taking the full range of STEM classes in High School could help you understand what you're interested in and help prepare you for college.

It may even be beneficial for your career to enter a field that is less popular with women. Many companies are aiming to achieve a diverse workforce and hiring women is a focus. So it may help you find a job and advance, if you have skills and a degree in a field with fewer women.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice and resources Hassan! Genevieve
Thank you comment icon You may want to look for resources like https://www.teachthought.com/technology/stem-resources-for-women/ and https://www.aauw.org/resources/research/the-stem-gap/ to potentially help you on your journey. My daughter just got her degree in Software Engineering and had joined https://swe.org/. Hassan Al
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Caitriona’s Answer

Hi Genevieve

I am from the UK and I studied Biology and Chemistry in my last years of school, then did Biological Science at university (or college, in the US).

Not many people did my specific course (about 40), but I would say over half were women! So don't worry!

Of course some subjects the difference is much more stark: I know friends that did engineering and maths found there were lots more men. But: this means you are unique when it comes to getting a job after graduating, as many companies specifically want to employ under-represented groups in STEM. This may mean the work cultures aren't as inclusive, but not always: many organisations are working hard to employ more diverse candidates and welcome them inclusively.

Also, even if you study STEM, it doesn't mean your whole career will be in that field.

Unfortunately it's hard to know which subjects have more or less women - but individual courses, departments or universities/colleges might publish their statistics - so check there if you are interested in anything specific. I would follow your intuition on what you're interested in, regardless of gender presence.

And don't worry, you can make friends outside of your course too. Good luck choosing!
Thank you comment icon Thank you! :) Genevieve
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Sungwoo (Chunga)’s Answer

Hi Genevieve - Another thing to consider is that each school classifies STEM major differently. For example, some schools consider Business Analytics or Statistics STEM, but some schools don't. I majored in Business Analytics in my MBA and I personally found it very helpful for my job searching. FYI - I did consulting right after my MBA and am currently working at a big Tech doing Monetization strategy. Hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Genevieve
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Francislainy’s Answer

I think many girls (and women ) deal with the "impostor syndrome" where they expect too much of themselves and think they are not good enough for certain things/jobs.
STEM jobs and college courses are difficult but just as much as any other and if that's something you like doing that should be enough. I've gone through many courses where I was the only girl/woman in the class and that was never an issue. Also, STEM jobs such as IT don't even have the physical aspect that would make it a bit harder on us. You only need a computer for it and can do it sitting in your home, so there's really nothing that would prevent a woman from doing it if that's what she wants.
Thank you comment icon Cool, thank you! Genevieve
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