Studying a Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM) related degree at University is a very good idea. Recent research shows that if you’re a STEM graduate your job prospects are better than average, your earnings power is greater than an Arts degree graduate, you have a wider choice of career available to you, and the key skills you develop whilst studying make you a very attractive recruit for non-STEM employers.
Your job prospects are better because STEM employers require specific technical knowledge from their graduates which Arts graduates wouldn’t have. So you have the STEM market stitched up. In addition, many non-STEM employers snap up STEM graduates as soon as they’re spotted because STEM graduates commonly display strong numeracy and analytical skills, as well as good problem-solving abilities. These are key employability skills, much needed by every graduate recruiter. Regrettably, not every graduate can come up with the goods though. So those that do often end up with more than one job offer as recruiters scramble to fill their graduate posts.
Note, however, STEM graduates can perform poorly in other key skill areas such as communication, teamwork, organisation and commercial awareness. So, if you lack confidence in a group setting, struggle to communicate verbally or in written form and can’t manage your time effectively, then do something about it.
STEM careers can be found in just about every major sector:
- Business & Industry
- Education & Communication
- Society & Development
- Entertainment & Culture
- Leisure & Lifestyle
Exciting and rewarding STEM careers can include the following:
Food Product Developer & Food Technologist – Create new food products, ensure food is safe and delicious. You must be passionate about food. The FPD role requires you to work with suppliers, buyers, other product developers and the packaging team. You will travel the world. The best uni’s for these career paths are: Surrey, Leeds, Reading, Nottingham, Newcastle & Queens Belfast. All of these faculties work very closely with the food industry so industry links will be excellent. Must have relevant science related degree to pursue this career.
Underwriting, Actuarial, Catastrophe Aggregate Management – are you seeking a fast paced, dynamic, pressurised, exciting industry to work in? Check out Insurance – it’s more exciting than you might think. This link takes you to one major insurer, as an example, which insures anything from hurricanes, sculptures and race horses to ships, aeroplanes and satellites. Depending on which of these roles you prefer you could be trading on the floor of Lloyds of London, analysing risks, deciding prices and negotiating premiums. Check each role for specific degree requirements but strong numeracy and analytical skills are a must and so too excellent communication skills.
The UK is a global leader in the Electronics industry and some of our leading companies in this field work hard to encourage home-grown talent from school age. Check out the UKESF – the UK Electronics Skills Foundation. It offers industrial scholarships. Its partner universities are Bristol, Southampton, Surrey, Imperial College, Edinburgh, York & Cardiff. Its Founding Partners include Cambridge based companies ARM (link given above) and CSR.
Other useful links for STEM Careers include:
Important info when completing your UCAS form:
- Find out if your chosen course is accredited by a professional institution (e.g CEng or IEng for engineering degrees)
- Some courses will include a year’s industrial placement (sandwich course) – this will put you ahead of the pack for relevant work experience
- If you have a very specific career in mind, check the course content is right for you before applying
- Finance: does your chosen course have bursary support?