That’s the verdict of a new YouGov poll, which also found that 26 per cent of eight to 18-year-olds want to study a STEM subject at university.
A further 10 per cent of the 700 children polled said they hoped to become doctors, dentists, pharmacists or nurses.
In contrast, 18 per cent favoured arts subjects, while six per cent chose humanities, five per cent education, and four per cent business studies.
The research, which revealed that only four per cent of girls want to study for a degree in technology, engineering or physics, compared to 26 per cent of boys, was conducted for the Astellas Innovation Debate.
Held at the Royal Society in London last month, the debate focused on how to encourage future innovators and how to ensure that there are enough university science places to meet the demand.
Physicist Professor Brian Cox, one of the speakers at the debate, said: “Nobody can claim any longer that there is a shortage of scientists and engineers because young people aren’t interested in taking up science.
“If the government really does want to make Britain the best place in the world to do science, then we need to open up the doors of our universities to the many thousands of kids who want to study STEM subjects.
“Not only will this make them happy, it will give them the wherewithal to contribute to the future of our economy.”