The number of high school graduates interested in pursuing a career in teaching is steadily declining according to a new report released by ACT this week. The Condition of Future Educators 2014 reveals that only 5 percent of ACT test-takers are interested in becoming an educator, down from 7 percent in 2010. This data is disconcerting considering that the National Center for Education Statistics projects the number teaching positions to increase by 14 percent by 2021.

Not only is student interest in an education career dwindling, but the percentage of aspiring educators who meet the ACT College and Career Readiness Benchmarks in STEM subjects is significantly lower than the national average. In addition, nearly three-quarters of ACT-tested students interested in an education career were female, including almost 95 percent of those interested in early childhood and elementary education.

The report provides several recommendations to promote greater interest in becoming an educator, including improving educator benefits and encouraging states to increase their pipeline of teachers from alternative certification routes.