Choosing STEM pathways

Choosing STEM pathways

It is predicted that in coming years approximately 75 per cent of all new jobs will require qualifications and skills in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Why STEM is important

Employer demand for graduates with these qualifications and skills is on the rise and will continue to increase as job roles diversify.

However, a large proportion of students are not studying STEM subjects or considering STEM related careers.

Even more of a concern is 60 per cent of young people are studying for jobs that will not exist or will be radically affected by automation in the next 10 to 15 years.

Employment opportunities in STEM related industries are increasing each year. Employers are looking for:

  • Analytical skills - Analysing and interpreting information and assessing the best course of action.
  • Scientific skills - Breaking down complex scientific concepts and systems.
  • Mathematical skills - Accurately gathering and analysing data. Applying simple and complex equations to solve problems.
  • Technical skills - Troubleshooting and debugging a complex technological system or repairing a machine.

While obtaining STEM related qualifications is extremely important, studying STEM subjects also provides transferable skills that are essential to competing in today’s job market. These transferable skills include:

  • problem solving
  • creativity
  • critical analysis
  • teamwork
  • independent thinking
  • initiative
  • communication
  • digital literacy.

The workplace of the future requires strong foundation skills in science and mathematics. To compete, young people are encouraged to study STEM subjects as part of their Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE), particularly the more challenging levels of science and mathematics. Choosing STEM subjects as part of the WACE opens the door to exciting and emerging careers, where young people can use their STEM skills to solve real world problems and have the ability to adapt to the changing workforce.



Mathematics Science


Mathematics specialist

Mathematics methods

Mathematics applications

Mathematics essential

Mathematics foundation

Mathematics preliminary

Animal production systems




Earth and environmental science

Human biology

Integrated science

Marine and maritime studies


Plant production systems


Applied information technology

Automotive engineering and technology


Building and construction

Children, family and the community

Computer science


Engineering studies

Food Science and technology

Materials Design and technology



Construction industries


Information and communication technology

Primary industries


For more information visit School Curriculum and Standards Authority 

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Back What is STEM?

STEM is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Through STEM, students develop key skills including:

  • problem solving
  • creativity
  • critical analysis
  • teamwork
  • independent thinking
  • initiative
  • communication
  • digital literacy.

Why is STEM important?

The global economy is changing. Current jobs are disappearing due to automation and new jobs are emerging every day as a result of technological advances.

The continual advances in technology are changing the way students learn, connect and interact every day. Skills developed by students through STEM provide them with the foundation to succeed at school and beyond.

Employer demand for STEM qualifications and skills is high, and will continue to increase in the future. Currently, 75 per cent of jobs in the fastest growing industries require workers with STEM skills. To be competitive, the Australian workforce needs people who can adapt to a changing workplace.

STEM empowers individuals with the skills to succeed and adapt to this changing world.