Head of Labour Market Intelligence, Prospects at Jisc
Career opportunities are influenced by the state of the jobs market, and there are a range of roles open to women with a STEM degree.
For the last year or so, we’ve been in an odd set of economic circumstances due to a range of long-term and short-term issues. Currently, there is not much economic growth. Moreover, there are severe strains in the labour supply with more vacancies than unemployed people — which has not been experienced in decades.
Career opportunities in STEM with shortage of talent
Nearly half of job vacancies are at degree-level or above, while the large majority of the unemployed have few formal qualifications. There is a serious shortage of trained professionals across the economy — and STEM is no exception.
However, prospects in IT, engineering and quantitative roles are bright, with an estimated 200,000 unfilled vacancies in the UK in tech, finance, professional services and science. Some of these are mid-level jobs, so if you have coding, team or project management, data or people skills, there are plenty of opportunities.
Data handling, information parsing and critical
thinking skills of science graduates are
in demand everywhere.
Not enough women in STEM roles
Many industries recognise that they have, historically, not recruited enough women and need to address that if they wish to recruit the best people available.
For women with a STEM degree, there are many opportunities beyond science. At the moment, job prospects in science — while reasonably healthy — are not quite as robust as opportunities in other areas such as professional services.
Maximising technical and critical skills
Data handling, information parsing and critical thinking skills of science graduates are in demand everywhere. If you can bring good communications skills into that mix, you have a very potent package that many employers find hard to get.
The advantage of a science qualification is it offers the option to do science if you want to — and a valuable skill set if you want to explore other options. Even as AI starts to take hold, smart workers who can filter out good information from bad and know how to make the best use of data are becoming more valuable. And where can we find those workers? In science.