A call for scientists, engineers and tech-nerds

Raphael is a Community Reporters volunteer who is very passionate about the sciences. He is currently a student at university pursing his dreams.

At that all too familiar stage when decisions are eating away at your psyche as your make sense of your future, it might help to know what kind of degree might be appreciated. Unfortunately that’s not always clear. As you apply for the course that may set your future in stone, more and more questions tend to pop up. What kind of job do I want? What will earn me more cash? What university should I go to? As a university undergrad I still am looking for the answers to some of these. Well here’s a little tip: more STEM qualified individuals are needed. What? I said it was only a little tip. It’s definitely not recent news and you would have heard at one point, either from your teachers or the papers. STEM stands for science, technology engineering and mathematics, though STEM jobs can have a wider spectrum.
In the busy world of today that never sleeps with industry driving the globe’s development, it is crucial that there is a large workforce of STEM qualified individuals. Many jobs that turn the cogs of UK society whether that may be IT or R&D (RTD) require trained graduates who tend to carry more quantitative skillsets. Quite often such jobs cannot be substituted by others with non-STEM based education. However surveys indicate around 40-60% of companies seeking new engineers and scientists for instance had difficultly recruiting. The causes are numerous varying from lack of attraction towards the courses themselves to the rigid selection procedure by employers. The main concern though is low output of ‘work-ready’ graduates from university, most notably with women and people from ethnic minorities. Plus, add in the fact that many then shift towards other practises and we have a large demand but a smaller supply available.
At the end of the day the world is your oyster and it’s up to you to what you will make of yourself. But if you carry a feverish interest in the cosmos or want to play with chemicals (safely) like a mad scientist, a STEM course may be the right direction in the cross-roads of decisions.