For a lot of people, the thought of a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) based education is one that fills them with dread. For the younger generation, it could be deemed too technical and one that might restrict the more expressive, creative sides of their personality.
And even for those in higher education, STEM-based learning can be seen as a daunting prospect, where they’ll be taken out of their comfort zone and asked to develop unfamiliar skills. In order to change those attitudes, tech companies need to provide support to both teachers and children, and do more to highlight the benefits of a STEM-based education. There are plenty of them, and here are just a few examples:
Closing the gender gap
According to data from the United States, women make up half of the college-educated workforce. However, they comprise just over a quarter (28%) of the science and engineering workforce. Results from another survey suggest two-thirds of women have not been encouraged to pursue a STEM career, and this imbalance could be addressed if more were done to promote a STEM education at all levels of academia. According to Richard Curtin, Co-Founder of OKdo, “digital is becoming the new norm and we need to make sure that we equip the children and students of today with the skills that they need”, in fact OKdo has been hugely involved in education by providing free lessons for teachers and students on technology but also by arming them with easy-to-use technology. Richard Curtis told us that as a company they realised that “in education, there is the need for very low cost, very accessible and very easy to use technology to be put into the hands of students, but actually there’s work to be done to make sure that educators, teachers etc. feel comfortable and confident to use and teach that technology.”
An abundance of jobs
It’s believed that employment in STEM fields has grown 79% over the past 30 years, and there are millions of unfulfilled roles as the supply of candidates struggles to keep pace with the demand for these types of skills. All of which means there is plenty of opportunity for those who receive STEM qualifications.
In the modern world, technology is increasingly becoming the dominant factor. It is now the driving force in a wide range of industries, and learning STEM skills can make a candidate employable in a vast array of sectors, rather than being restricted to one particular field.
Recent studies have shown that a STEM graduate starts with a salary advantage of 30%, so there are also financial benefits to receiving a STEM education. As well as high starting wages, STEM roles are known for offering significant growth in terms of earning potential.
A STEM education promotes critical thinking, which is what drives innovation across all industries. Being able to problem solve and challenge the status quo means we are constantly striving for further development. It enables us to come up with smarter, more efficient solutions to the world’s needs – and a STEM education is a vital stepping stone to helping us achieve that.