Latest research has revealed that nearly half of boys are struggling to choose career routes compared to their female counterparts, which comes as no surprise to one local careers adviser.
The NSW Department of Industry in partnership with Year 13 surveyed 1600 respondents aged between 15 and 21 and found 45 per cent of boys were unsure which industry they aspire to compared to nine per cent of girls.
The research also found that one in four girls were taking on careers that were once male dominated, particularly in science, technology and engineering.
Former careers adviser at Wagga Christian College Jenny Azar said this was likely a result because more girls will willingly enter a male dominated industry than vice-versa for boys.
"Girls have become way more fluid in their approach to careers and are more willing to enter the fields that were stereotypically for boys," Ms Azar said.
"Boys still get caught up in things not being 'girly'.
"Boys also tend to be a bit behind in maturity and I can't tell you how many young men I have taught who have left school not knowing what they wanted to do, but around 20 years of age have found their path."
The data also found that 27 per cent of young people said their parents have a negative view of Vocational Education and Training, which could potentially discourage them from these pathways.
Ms Azar said the conversations around VET pathway options needs to be increased as the cost of university could prevent many young people from choosing this career route.
"I think in Wagga there are opportunities for boys to take on apprenticeships rather than university, however I do think the conversation around apprenticeships and trades needs to be ramped up," she said.
"It is not the 'dumb' option, but could be a path to a lucrative business opportunity.
"The cost of uni also prevents young men from trying different options."
The statistics also found a proportion of young people felt pressured to go to university, with 85 per cent of males compared to 74 per cent of females.
Mater Dei Catholic College year 12 student Lewis Crawley said at his school there is a "big" pressure to undertake tertiary education.
"I want to do architectural design, but I think the majority of my male peers struggle or are unsure what they want to do but there are a few that are pretty certain," he said.
"One of my closest male friends is going into nursing and that's probably the only example because I think there would be some stigma for males to choose a female dominated career."
The 17-year-old argued his peer group and their parents do not view TAFE as a negative career option.
"There's a lot of students within my group who are interested in the trades and I don't see it as a negative thing," he said.
Like Lewis, Mater Dei year 12 graduate Luke Manning said there were many conversations around VET career options.
"I don't think this was a problem for my peers and from my experience, parents were positive towards VET options, however this is only from a small pool of parents I had engagement with," he said.
Mr Manning, 19, said he was surprised by this data but he did notice this with his year level.
"This does surprise me a bit as I can't think of any reasons why this would be the case, however I did notice this with my year group," he said.
"There was a polarisation of decisions made and most were 100 per cent certain on their career path and then others had no idea the career path they wanted to follow."
However, he was not surprised the survey showed a quarter of girls were considering a career in science, technology, IT or engineering.
"Many of my female peers chose to go into science, technology and engineering courses," Mr Manning said.
"For most of these subjects, it was a female who obtained the highest rank in the course."
Kildare Catholic College careers adviser Karen Murray previously told The Daily Advertiser that parents are students' number one influencer.
NSW government's Training Services executive director David Collins said parents need to be proactive in identifying career opportunities and consider VET.
"All teenagers need help exploring their possible careers, but it's evident some boys need additional support," he said.
"Well-meaning parents and caregivers who push school leavers into university may actually hinder their child's career options as not everyone is suited to this path.
"VET delivers employable skills and practical on-the-job experience that can lead to equally successful careers."