Horizon Media Study Reveals Americans Prioritize STEM Subjects over the Arts; Science is "Cool," Coding is New Literacy

This National Teacher's Day, Survey Reveals that 65% Believe Learning a Computer Coding Language is More Useful than Learning a Foreign Language

Oct 05, 2015, 12:56 ET from Horizon Media, Inc.

NEW YORK, Oct. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of National Teacher's Day – October 5 – new research from Horizon Media's WHY Group shows that students may show a little extra appreciation for our science, math and computer science teachers today. According to the agency's latest Finger on the Pulse opinion survey, Americans strongly believe STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) are the key to unlocking future success, particularly computer science. In fact, Americans now view computer science as a basic skill. More than eight in ten (86%) say knowing how to use a computer is "just as important as knowing how to read and write."

The survey also finds that science has acquired a cool factor it hasn't previously attained. Three in four Americans agree that "today, science is cool in a way that it wasn't ten years ago." And computer science is a major driver of this new perceived cool factor – with 73% agreeing that "in the future, all the best jobs will require knowledge of computer coding languages."

According to the study findings, Americans today overwhelmingly prioritize STEM subjects over the arts, health, and even history. When asked which two subjects other than reading and writing are critical to ensure the next generation is prepared for the future, 70% chose math, and 50% said computer science. More than two thirds (65%) went as far as to agree that "most students would benefit more from learning a computer coding language than a foreign language."

"Science and math have always been core subjects. But the addition of technology and engineering makes STEM education feel current and critical," said Kirk Olson, Vice President of TrendSights at Horizon Media. "It's through technology and engineering that scientific fields effect widespread changes in the ways people live. These findings prove Americans feel that impact in the real world."

Horizon Media's analysis of the data has connected the survey findings to a larger macro trend its TrendSights practice has titled Science Fixes. We live in a new era of science as a hero, where breakthrough technology turns once unattainable science fiction into life-changing 'science fixes'.

The trend is morphing and spreading. Data-empowered wearable devices such as FitBit activity trackers help Americans to optimize their health through biofeedback. The Aura connected alarm clock from Withings emits melotonin inducing light waves that promote sleep. Consumers can add a sleep sensor accessory that collects data on deep, light, and REM sleep cycles so the clock knows the best moment to initiate waking . In fall 2015, a new product is expected to hit the market called Vessyl, a high-tech cup that tracks what people drink from it on a molecular level. Calories, nutrients, sugars, caffeine content and more are fed to users' smartphones along with benchmarks so they know exactly how every sip affects their health.

"This is science in service of real life. Being a part of it is like being a rock star. That's why STEM education is both critical and cool, and why the Science Fixes macrotrend is one to watch," continued Olson.

Horizon sees 'Science Fixes' in media entertainment content as well. Science as hero or anti-hero is at the heart of television and movie hits such as CBS's "Scorpion," BBC America's "Orphan Black," and Ridley Scott's "The Martian." Social media sites and mobile apps increasingly rely on big data analytics to personalize content and enhance human connections, including the ads people see. Programmatic buying in digital media is in itself a massive "Science Fix." Horizon expects the velocity of the Science Fixes macrotrend to continue to surge in 2016, impacting what people want, where they are, and how brands reach them.

Horizon Media's WHY Group launched its TrendSightsSM practice in 2012 with the purpose of converting global shifts in the zeitgeist into opportunities for its clients. The practice combines in-field observation with proprietary surveys, custom data mining and social listening to identify the most meaningful trends. This deeper understanding of current and emerging trends driving culture and business informs the connections strategies and environments Horizon Media activates for its clients.

Finger on the Pulse is Horizon's proprietary online research community, comprised of 3,000 people reflective of the general U.S. population. The community empowers the agency to connect directly with consumers, diving beneath the surface of beliefs and behaviors to uncover critical insights.

About Horizon Media
Horizon Media, Inc. is the largest and fastest growing privately held media services agency in the world. The company was founded in 1989, is headquartered in New York and has offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Chicago. Horizon Media was chosen as 2011 Independent Media Agency of the Year by Mediapost, 2010 U.S. Media Agency of the Year by Adweek, Brandweek, and Mediaweek as well as by Ad Age and as one of the world's ten most innovative marketing and advertising companies by Fast Company in 2011. In 2012, Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO and Founder, was honored by Advertising Age as Industry Executive of the Year. Most recently, in 2014, Bill Koenigsberg was named 4As Chair of the Board and is the first person from a media agency to hold this prestigious position in the 100 year history of the 4As, the marketing industry's leading trade association.

The company's mission is "To create the most meaningful brand connections within the lives of people everywhere." By delivering on this mission through a holistic approach to brand marketing, Horizon Media has become one of the largest and fastest-growing media agencies in the industry, with estimated billings of over $6.3 billion and over 1,200 employees.

The company is also a founding member of Columbus Media International, a multi-national partnership of independent media agencies. For more information, please visit horizonmedia.com.

Horizon Media
Kaya Lobaczewski
(212) 220-2102

SOURCE Horizon Media, Inc.