This qualitative descriptive research explored the perspectives of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) senior high school students in a public secondary school in Zambales, Philippines on their reasons why they enrolled in STEM and their intent to pursue relevant career. A total of 20 Grade 12 students were purposively selected as participants of the research. The participants were interviewed using a validated structured interview guide. The recorded interviews were individually transcribed to arrive at an extended text. The extended texts were reviewed to generate themes and significant statements. The paper found out that senior high school students are generally interested in the field related to biology. The alignment to the preferred course in college is the primary reason of the participants for enrolling in STEM. Almost all the students wanted to pursue STEM-related careers after their university graduation. Further, personal aspiration is the main reason for the participants to pursue STEM-related professions. The study recommends that senior high schools may design various activities during the career week. These activities may include possible career paths in STEM-related courses, students' career and motivation, and their career aptitude. Teachers may also infuse innovative pedagogies for better STEM instruction. For the students to have more interest in science, it is recommended that STEM teachers undergo retooling or pursue advanced studies. Senior high schools may conduct career guidance seminars for the students to guide them on what strands they should take. The Department of Education (DepEd) may support the implementation of different programs regarding students’ career preparation. This program will help the students to be more aware on what career path they wanted to pursue, and to avoid pressures from peers. Schools may advocate a collaborative, authentic and goal-oriented learning environment with respect to the demand of Industrial Revolution 4.0.
career path, senior high school, science learning, STEM, STEM careers