What are STEM subjects?
STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are the foundations of the industrial and corporate world. While these are some of the most important subjects, students often overlook them, it is a skill-set that is in high demand by employers.
Though these subjects can be challenging, there are plenty of opportunities on offer for motivated individuals to develop their abilities in real-world situations. Students gain technical skills they'll need for a lifelong career.
Employers of STEM students want to challenge the stereotypes surrounding the more academic subjects and encourage young people to take them up. They're keen to nurture talent, focussing on motivation, attitudes and enthusiasm, known as enhancement and enrichment (E&E). For many it's a simple case of getting young people interested early while they're deciding on their GSCE or A-Level options.
For many students interested in STEM subjects, outside influences are often an important part of their learning. Business plays a key role in educating young people about STEM. Combining traditional teaching, technology and business would offer a far more rounded and engaging education, and future employees.
Though it's difficult to realise the importance of STEM subjects at GSCE level, they don't have be a dull experience. Perceptions are changing, especially on the side of science and engineering.
STEM skills are essential and contribute to the UKs global position as the sixth largest manufacturer, as well as producing 10% of the world's scientific research. Engineering alone accounts for £800bn annually. Perhaps most excitingly, STEM students can potentially earn amongst the highest salaries of all new recruits.
The gender gap in the STEM industries is being addressed, offering a more welcoming environment for girls. Young girls can be encouraged to take STEM subjects by addressing key barriers for their participation.
STEM continues to play an increasingly important role in our technology based society. The skill-set itself can lead on to a range of exciting and rewarding careers and experiences both in and outside of industry and education, from the video games industry to NASA to crime scene investigation.