The Importance of STEM skills

Roger Marsh explores the importance of STEM to our everyday lives and our workplaces.

STEM refers to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and is something that impacts almost every aspect of our lives. The various disciplines have an enormous potential for opportunities in professions and careers in later life – anything from designers and physicists to architects and programmers.  

STEM skills are varied, so by engaging pupils with STEM-based lessons, we can encourage them to discover their passions within STEM subjects.

Why is STEM so important?

The UK and other countries are currently facing a skills gap surrounding STEM-based job roles, as many pupils are choosing to specialise in more creative subjects such as art or humanities. The changes in society, such as technological advancements, mean that there is a demand for graduates in STEM-based subjects. Failure to meet these requirements may restrict the UK’s economic growth in the future.

STEM education to tackle the skills shortage

Studies show that, as technology continues to develop, we need more developers who can code, engineers who can design and innovative thinkers who can analyse what we need, before we even realise we need it.

However, with more and more students showing a stronger interest in the arts and humanities, we may struggle to fill STEM jobs. The solution to closing this skills gap is by putting a stronger emphasis on STEM education and careers. This focus should start in primary school and develop all the way to further education and beyond. 

STEM in the workplace

How do other working people use STEM in the workplace? STEM subjects provide pupils with a broad range of valuable skills that they can use in many career paths. Analytical skills have their roots in STEM subjects, and many workers use these every day at work. These analytical skills are used in topic research and project planning, as well as in drawing conclusions from research studies.

Studying STEM subjects such as algebra gives pupils a good attention to detail, which is needed in the workplace to record data accurately and to follow complicated briefs. Mathematics is also used for any calculations or measurements that are required over the work day. 

We need to change the opinion among pupils that STEM subjects are boring and uncreative, and immerse them in the discovery, exploration and ‘eureka’ moments that science, technology, engineering and mathematical subjects can bring to those who wish to study them.


About the author

Roger Marsh is managing director, ITN Mark Education


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