STEM careers seen as boring and male-dominated

New research from Mondelēz International has found that UK students are shunning STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects because they view them as too hard, boring and male dominated.

In the survey of 1,500 young people aged 14-18 years old, the main reason young people avoid STEM at school is because they find them boring (44%). The research also highlighted common misconceptions about STEM jobs, with 60% believing you need a degree.

It was also found that 49% of girls consider STEM careers, compared to 64% of boys. Reasons behind this included lack of female role models, biased careers advice towards non-STEM subjects and gender stereotyping from a young age.

Diane Tomlinson, HR director at Mondelēz International, said: “Science, technology, engineering and maths skills are the backbone of Mondelēz International’s manufacturing and research and development functions. Attracting and developing these skills in our employees is essential for future business growth as well as UK economic success. If we do not prioritise these subjects we face being left behind in the global innovation race. It’s dispiriting to hear that young people are intimidated by STEM subjects as jobs in STEM can be hugely fun, creative and inspiring and companies nowadays offer great career opportunities with training provided in the more technical aspects.”

Mondelēz International has urged employers to get more involved with schools to highlight the positive aspects of a career based on STEM skills.