Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is an acronym that refers to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The term is typically used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools to improve competitiveness in science and technology development.
Why STEM Career ?
It can be hard to make the link between what you study in the classroom and what opportunities there are in the world of work. In this blog, we provide information on three important points about where studying STEM subjects can take you in life.
There is a huge variety of exciting career paths open to people with STEM based skills. Young people with STEM qualifications are in demand in the job market and have good long term career prospects. People with STEM skills can make a big contribution to many of the big challenges facing society today.
1) A huge variety of exciting career paths open to people with STEM based skills - It is often a surprise to people just how many different careers are based on STEM skills. There are jobs to suit all personalities and all skill levels – including entry level opportunities right up to PhD level.
There are opportunities to work in a range of different environments from field work to manufacturing plants, from offices to laboratories, from schools to hospitals, from deep in the oceans to outer space. A wide variety of industries rely on people with STEM skills. Some examples, are: Entertainment – from the design of video games, to special effects for films, to sound engineering for the music industry.
Aerospace and transport – from making travel easier for people whether on the roads, rail or in the air, through to helping goods be transported around the world for trade and humanitarian relief.
Telecoms and information technology – from the technology used in our mobile phones, to software designs which give us access to the internet, to managing international communications networks.
Finance and accountancy – from the smallest charity through to the largest international businesses, from universities and hospitals to manufacturing plants and shops, every organization needs people who can manage the finances and balance the books. Space – recognized as delivering some of the most advanced technologies in the world, working on satellites, global positioning systems (GPS) and military surveillance.
Sport and Fashion – from inventing new high performance sports equipment, to physiotherapy for athletes, from new textiles to computer aided design of new fashion ranges.
Health – from hospitals and healthcare professionals caring for patients, to inventing new high tech life-saving equipment such as scanners, to pharmaceutical companies researching new medicines.
Energy and environment – from inventing new technologies to reduce carbon emissions, to developing new energy sources such as wind, waves and sun, to protecting rare species of animals.
Construction and the built environment – from architecture and design, to civil engineering of everything from bridges, railways and roads, to homes and parks, from constructing buildings to planning towns.
Food and agriculture – from developing new high yielding plant varieties to feeding more people around the world, to cooking up new recipes for supermarkets, to farming the land.
2) Young people with STEM qualifications are in demand in the job market and have good long term career prospects STEM careers lead to good salaries later in life: Chemistry and physics graduates will earn on average over 30% more during their working lifetimes than other A-level holders. Many large businesses offering STEM based apprenticeships pay for apprentices to go on to take a university degree – eg: in telecoms (BT), in aerospace (Rolls-Royce), in energy (British Gas), in accountancy (KPMG). STEM careers offer good prospects for the long term: Most science and engineering companies provide training opportunities and map out long term career paths. There is a demand for people with STEM skills globally, careers can often include the opportunity for international travel. So young people who study STEM subjects are likely to be valuable and in demand in the employment market. The evidence is clear – growth in Science Engineering and Technology industries is forecast to require 600,000 professionally skilled staff by 2017.
3) People with STEM skills can make a big contribution to many of the big challenges facing society today Many of the great challenges we face in the 21st century need science and technology based solutions – for instance:
You could be developing crops which provide greater yield to farmers – in a world where one billion people don’t have enough food to eat You could be reducing the number of people who don’t have clean water to drink – in a world where demand for water will exceed supply by 40% in the next 20 years.
You could be designing safer cars – in a world where there are fatal accidents happening at a rapid rate. You could be working on a cure for cancer – in a world where many people are diagnosed with cancer each year.
You could be creating educational software to help children with dyslexia – because 1 in 10 children suffer from some level of dyslexia. One of the great challenges of our age is the search for new energy solutions. We have to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel and find new sources of energy, from wind to solar to wave power.
Rising to this challenge is creating many new STEM based jobs for the future – for example: There is expected to be a 48% increase in demand for physical environmental science graduates in the next eight years. The UK government estimates that the renewable energy sector alone could create 500,000 jobs by 2020. The UK wind industry has the potential to create 60,000 new jobs over the course of the next 10 years– effectively expanding the current workforce in this sector tenfold. Looking at these 3 factors, there is a strong belief that people with STEM skills will be in demand in the years to come and it would be hard to find appropriate talent to fill these gaps. This is your chance to grab the opportunity with both hands and create a blossoming career in STEM.