If you’re a STEM subject student or graduate, then frankly you should be proud of yourself. At mybrink, we take off our hats to you.
Because we know that these are challenging subjects, having required very high A level grades, and the chances are, your STEM degree is a tough gig.
But we also know, that sadly, there are too few of you pursuing this route. And it’s not through lack of interest. It’s through lack of confidence. And the lack of confidence is due to a lack of encouragement, knowledge and information.
In a survey by The Student Room and AIA, a shockingly high 80% of students interviewed revealed that their perception is that STEM courses and careers are out of their reach. Quoting responses like ‘only for the brightest’, and ‘too difficult’, there is clearly a perception image problem with this curriculum area which needs addressing before it escalates further.
The problem appears to root right back in schools, with a worrying lack of encouragement and knowledge from teachers and parents for students to pursue STEM subjects, evidenced by 44% surveyed saying they lacked knowledge of STEM careers and 17% saying they had never received any guidance at all.
Breaking it down further, the situation becomes worse when you analyse the demographics. Only 14% of the STEM workforce are female, and this problem is showing little signs of abating. According to a poll by Milkround and SMRS, STEM industries being too male dominated is being cited as a reason for a lack of interest in these careers as well as concerns about equal pay. A major lack of confidence among girls around pursuing science was also picked up in a survey by EDF energy. All trends that must be addressed if there is to be an improvement in the gender balance.
So why does it all matter?
Well for starters, how much untapped talent is out there in the market that lies undiscovered and unused? How many students may go into alternative careers and lack the fulfillment, challenge and sense of success that they could have achieved in a STEM career.
Leading recruiters in technology and engineering fields are proactively seeking to address the balance in their companies by targeting women through marketing and campaigns. This just highlights the fantastic opportunities actually available for women in these fields, if they would only take them.
And for the economy, and for productivity, this trend can only be bad news. With companies like Rolls-Royce so keen to find young talent, there’s no shortage of opportunities, only a shortage of high calibre candidates to fill the roles.
At mybrink we’re committed to finding the best talent in the STEM subjects and we’ll be attending a number of specialist STEM recruitment fairs around the country in the coming months to seek you out. Because businesses we are talking to want to talk to you.
But we all need to do what we can to encourage the next generation of STEM students. Improve the focus in schools, highlight the opportunities, demystify the subjects and get better at seeking out potential.
So if you’re considering a STEM subject, be brave and go for it. And if you’re a STEM student now, you’ve an awesome future ahead of you. Good luck.
To see fantastic and exciting job opportunities at Rolls-Royce, register at mybrink now.