A Brief History of STEM and the Job Market

Math
Photo by Lum3n from Pexels

Numerous countries are seeing a shortage of people wanting to work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors, with a recent study from New Zealand reporting that around 80% of jobs in the future will require math and science skills. While this isn’t necessarily surprising, especially with everything going digital, this does mean that more needs to be done to make these subjects more appealing to people of all ages.

With most learning done in schools and colleges, more can definitely be done to encourage students to take up STEM subjects. Whether it is becoming a doctor or helping in an IT department, having a good understanding of math and science is essential. However, time in the classroom is limited, so online tutoring can help bridge the gap for these tricky subjects. There are certified math tutors available to help with homework or an upcoming exam and they can be flexible based on whatever schedule works best.

Having the knowledge to work in STEM also opens up a wide range of opportunities, from understanding why celebrities are getting interested in cryptocurrency, to understanding the latest developments in the tech world. It may not seem important when you’re sitting in a classroom trying to understand Pythagoras Theorem or Algebraic equations but having basic knowledge won’t hurt.

Listed below are a number of jobs that require the logical thinking and problem-solving skills you learn from math:

  • Accountant
  • Data Analyst
  • Doctor
  • Game Designer
  • Maths Teacher
  • Nurse
  • Software Tester

Like New Zealand, in 2020 the United Kingdom also faced a STEM crisis. The UK saw a shortage of people interested in working in STEM sectors, which are vital to the economic development of the country. It also became a cause for concern for businesses, as over 56% expected this STEM shortage to worsen over the next ten years. What doesn’t help is that almost 90% of STEM employers said the recruitment process was also taking longer than it usually would, which could also be putting potential workers off. But the United Kingdom realized it needed to change, and we saw this in 2021.

Math
Photo by Jeswin Thomas from Pexels

In 2021 the country saw a rapid increase in the number of young people studying STEM subjects at university. According to the statistics published by UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service), acceptances into computer science courses have risen by almost 50%. Engineering courses are up 21%, showing how improving the quality of teaching is important. There was also an almost 50% rise in the number of women – and an almost 80% rise in those from disadvantaged backgrounds – being accepted onto full-time STEM undergraduate courses in the UK. This increase in STEM subjects shows that there could also be healthy competition to get onto the best courses and into the top universities.

As we become more digital, the world will continue to need more and more people choosing STEM careers. Some countries are finding this a lot more difficult than others, but helping students while they are still in school has become incredibly important.