Graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are critical to the UK economy, with research suggesting jobs are expected to grow at double the rate of other occupations, creating 142,000 jobs between now and 2023.
It’s widely perceived that the STEM industries are mostly dominated by male workers, but the latest insights reveal that more women than ever are working in STEM related jobs.
However, whilst the latest figures are encouraging, certain areas of STEM are still widely underrepresented by women – for example computing so, due to how quickly science and technology jobs are becoming more and more digitally focussed, it’s a necessity for all workers in this area to have extensive computer skills.
However, despite this, the future of STEM looks positive. Research reveals that there are more than 3,000 more women working as ICT technicians than in 2016 – women make up 19% of the total. Men working in ICT technician roles has increased by 15,000.
When it comes to university, it’s important that, as a country, we’re make these rewarding and well-paid routes to STEM careers more accessible to women so that we can ensure the number of talented graduates continues to grow. For example, findings suggest computer science students stand good chance of being professionally employed or in further study within six months of leaving university.
It should be emphasised that careers in the STEM industries are not only fulfilling, but also that reducing gender imbalance across industries such as these can help us effectively address – and reduce – the gender pay gap.
Let’s take a look at the bigger picture. Overall, women made up over half (51.4%) of graduates who gained a STEM degree in 2016/17. The most popular degree subject for women were subjects allied to medicine, making up 79% of graduates. The least popular degree subjects for women were both computer science and engineering, with just 19% of women making up each course.
For men, the most popular degree subject was computer sciences, making up 81% of the total number of graduates in that subject area. The least popular degree subject for men were subjects allied to medicine, making up just 21% of all graduates.
To find out the full breakdown of STEM graduates in the UK, visit here.