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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.

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. As such, employers are looking for these skills:

  • Analytical - Analysing and interpreting information and assessing the best course of action.
  • Scientific - Breaking down complex scientific concepts and systems.
  • Mathematical - Accurately gathering and analysing data. Applying simple and complex equations to solve problems.
  • Technical - 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.