The Royal Academy of Engineering has recently published a report warning of a shortage of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) graduates. At the moment demand is significantly greater than supply in the UK with high wage premiums being established for people with such degrees in a climate of falling graduate pay.
Around 1.25 million STEM professionals and technicians will be needed by 2020. Demand for individuals with STEM qualifications at level 3+ (A level) is also growing. The news comes only a few months after E4E, the Education for Engineering Alliance, reported concern over the number of GCSE pupils who were limiting their future options by opting out of Science GCSEs and underachieving in Mathematics. In addition to this it has been known for several years that the UK is lagging behind China and India in producing Engineering graduates and this is likely to have an impact on our place in the global economy.
The message is clear – qualifications in Science and Mathematics are invaluable in the world today. Gaining qualifications in these subjects at any level will significantly improve your career prospects. As Professor Matthew Harrison, Director of Engineering and Education at the Royal Academy of Engineering puts it “STEM qualifications are portable and valuable. All young people should have access to them as a means of social mobility and to strengthen the economy.”
Whatever your current level of education Oxford Open Learning can help you on the path to sought after STEM qualifications. Your first step might be to study Science or Mathematics at GCSE or IGCSE level. If you plan to take a STEM degree you will also need A level Mathematics. Oxford Open Learning offer three different Maths A level options so you can choose the one that suits you best. Parents home-schooling younger children should consider Oxford Home Schooling’s Key Stage 3 Mathematics and Science courses as a firm foundation for future STEM graduates.
Further details on the two reports can be found at www.raeng.org.uk