STEM Careers Guidance
STEM and Careers Guidance
The term ‘STEM’ originated in government as a useful acronym for a group of closely related subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Subjects which, it is argued, are of significant importance to the UK economy.
Across a range of STEM industries, including life sciences, chemical sciences, engineering and digital, 45 per cent of employers currently face difficulties recruiting staff with STEM skills, and 59 per cent expect difficulty in the next three years. Women, ethnic minority groups and those with additional support needs are also all under-represented in STEM-related roles.
Within schools there are a number of initiatives designed to engage students and teachers directly with hands-on events and activities, inspiring learners to develop an interest in STEM and supporting educators to better focus on STEM in the classroom.
Clearly, the most important factor influencing young people’s engagement and achievement in any subject is the quality of teaching. However, as new industries are emerging and many of the most important jobs of the future don’t yet exist, it’s vital that all young people get the highest quality career guidance. Experienced career development professionals will do this by working with young people and guiding them;
- Developing self-awareness and identifying strengths
- Providing information about opportunities and broadening horizons
- Developing decision-making skills
- Helping with transitioning
Good guidance helps inspire students towards further study and enables them to make informed decisions whenever choices are open to them.
In addition to effective personal guidance the Gatsby Charitable Foundation identified seven other “benchmarks”:
- Personal guidance
- A stable careers programme
- Learning from career and labour market information
- Addressing the needs of each student
- Linking curriculum learning to careers
- Encounters with employers and employees
- Experiences of workplaces
- Encounters with further and higher education
Benchmarks 6, 7 and 8 explicitly highlight the importance of involvement and influence of professionals and academics. The STEM professionals, therefore, have a crucial role to play in supporting the next generation of researchers, technicians, thinkers, innovators and inventors.
By educating young people about STEM careers, encouraging their interest and talents, and facilitating their exploration of the opportunities open to them, the supply of high-quality professionals in the STEM fields will, it is hoped, be improved.
STEM Career Programmes
A key part of any STEM Careers programme is to bring together industry and education to provide high-quality careers education, information, advice and guidance for STEM subjects. Such work needs to comprise several strands, including a communication campaign, production of careers resources, and academic research.
For example, films introducing some of the exciting careers that students may access by studying STEM subjects.
* Climate Scientist * Sports Technologist * Spacecraft Engineer * Structural Engineer * Snowboard Designer * Radio Producer * Planetary Scientist * Marine Biologist * Lighting Designer * Games Developer * Food Technologist * Environmentalist * Energy Analyst * Digital Designer * Cosmetics Specialist*
Teachers and career professionals can build and use their networks to promote STEM career-related learning. Such networks can include those between school colleagues, or with parents, community governors, alumni and local employers. They can be utilised to promote the work of a parent-teacher association, to support extra-curricular activity or to promote STEM career-related learning.
There are a plethora of STEM networking opportunities for schools to link to both nationally and locally. Schools must build external relationships with providers of STEM career-related enhancement and enrichment activities. Local networks and local opportunities must be exploited for engaging in STEM competitions and liaising with employers or CPD activities.
- The STEM Insight programme, run by STEM Learning – offers bursary-supported placements with universities or industry across the UK, designed specifically for teachers and technicians. Visit stem.org.uk/stem-insight
- STEM Learning runs the National STEM Learning Centre in York and provides professional development, resources, bursaries and tools to teachers, technicians and teaching assistants across the country. Visit stem.org.uk/what-we-do
- STEM Learning also manages the national STEM Clubs and the STEM Ambassadors programmes: stemclubs.net and www.stemnet.org.uk/ambassadors/
- Also, see https://www.stem.org.uk/resources.
And finally, the Impartial Career Psychologist in me feels obliged to say….
It should of course always be remembered that STEM subjects are no more important than the humanities and creative subjects. Useful for some, but not for all. The foundations for developing a successful career will always be developing self-awareness and identifying strengths.
Written by Hannah Courtney Bennett who is a Chartered Psychologist and Registered Career Development Professional specialising in the Psychology of Careers.
Hannah likes to help students from different backgrounds and with varying abilities, in the State and the Independent sectors, reach decisions about education and careers and understand how strengths, interests and personality fit together to inform ideas about career routes.
She is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and the Register of Career Development Professionals.
Hannah from Talent & Career is offering short Careers Guidance sessions, via Skype. Aimed at those students who have missed their guidance sessions because of the pandemic and also to any others who now have concerns about their plans in the light of there being no summer exams.
To book in please complete a contact form on her website.
1-on- 1 STEM Careers Guidance for Individuals
Our career services are delivered by Career Development Professionals who are qualified over and above the qualification level recommended by Ofsted in their Statutory Guidelines for Career Guidance Provision in Schools.
This is conducted individually on a 1-on-1 basis and can be commissioned by a parent or by a school body.
For either option, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
STEM Careers Services for Schools
We offer any school the following Career Guidance options for their pupils;
- Firstly, one to one guidance.
- Secondly, group workshops.
- Thirdly, equine facilitated learning – (link to page).
- Strengths, interests and ability testing.
- Detailed personal profile reports and feedback.
- Ongoing support.
Choices and Next Steps
We know that young people need help in making decisions about education and careers. Thus, we encourage children to;
- Firstly, Choose the right subjects in school.
- Secondly, weigh-up university courses and alternatives to higher education.
- Thirdly, find out about career paths and achieving future goals.
- Identify key skills, strengths and interests.
- Learn how to develop Career Resilience.
- Receive detailed personal profile reports, feedback and action plans.
- Benefit from on-going support.