Career development

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  • There’s no doubt that once your teen has a science or maths A-level their employment prospects are much better than someone who doesn’t have those skills. People who are studying science and maths subjects are seen as being bright and capable and are really attractive to employers from a huge variety of industries.

    In 2008 a Confederation of British Industry (CBI) report said: ‘The demand for highly numerate and analytical STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths)-skilled individuals is expected to grow dramatically in the future. By 2014 demand for science, engineering and technology-related occupations is expected to have expanded by 730,000 and net requirement for these jobs, taking into account those leaving the labour market, is predicted to rise to 2.4 million.’

    Did you know?

    That nearly 60% of exports from the UK are in the engineering industry. Engineering isn’t just about manufacturing cars, motorbikes and white goods. Engineering skills are needed in music production, television and the Internet.

    Exciting work environments

    When most of us think of scientists we picture men wearing white coats based in a laboratory but jobs involving science and maths are really diverse. Many scientists specialise in a particular area, such as cosmetics, food or drugs and are employed by top brands. They work with all sorts of other departments such as marketing, advertising, research and development teams. Scientists can also work outside the lab. They could be studying penguins in the Antarctic or watching top athletes competing in big sporting events. Science and maths skills are also used in more creative environments like video games companies or digital advertising agencies.

    Likewise, engineering jobs aren’t just in factories, engineers can be found working on oil rigs, up mountains, under the sea – all sorts of exciting places.

    Travel the world with science and maths

    For young people who have good science and maths skills the world is their oyster. With science and maths there are many more opportunities to work all over the world. Your teen could even work in developing countries improving water supplies or developing immunization programmes. They could help solve environmental problems, such as finding new sources of energy and stopping the affects of pollution. Science and maths A-levels could also lead to a career as a Food Technologist which involves inspecting produce all over the world from vineyards in New Zealand to chocolate factories in Belgium, or as a Snowboard Designer testing their latest creations on slopes around the globe.

    And what about the girls?

    Traditionally, science and maths are seen as being boys’ subjects. But things have changed. The number of women in STEM careers is growing steadily. With good STEM skills any young person can join the industry that they want to work in regardless of their sex.

    Beat the scramble for a place at uni

    There is a perceived degree of difficulty attached to STEM subjects that differentiate students with these qualifications. Good grades in science and maths subjects are highly valued by university admissions tutors and further education establishments

    Check out our inspiring case studies

    Sports Technologist – Chris applies the scientific principles from his degree every day at work
    Snowboard Designer – Liza combined her interests and studies so she gets paid to do what she loves
    Cosmetic Specialist – Shakila uses chemistry and biology to help market new cosmetics and perfumes
    Lighting Engineer – Will designs lighting for events, concerts, plays, films & pop videos
    Environmentalist – Jo is working to make the London Olympic Games the greenest Olympics ever
    Games Developer – Maths and physics have helped Simon get his dream job as a games developer
    Humanitarian Engineer – Andrew works in developing countries to help their communities thrive
    Planetary Scientist – Sheila hopes to inspire future generations of space enthusiasts.
    Digital Designer – Simon’s maths and science background helps him in his “creative” field
    Marine Biologist – Tom’s career has taken him from the Amazon Rainforests to Antarctica

    Find out more about STEM subjects and careers