STEM teachers: here’s what you said

Last year we sent out our annual STEM Education Survey to teachers, parents and STEM-interested folk alike – and here’s what you told us

Parents are critical!

parents career study choice STEM surveyWhile the majority of respondents were STEM educators, 85.7% said parents were the biggest influencer on students’ study and career path.

Teachers tied with friends in second place, while ‘role models’ and ‘social media influencers’ both out-ranked career advisors as the biggest influencers.

RELATED: What it’s like to be the first in your family to go to uni

‘Soft’ skills are the future

Learning to communicate effectively is just as important as learning to code, according to respondents of our teacher survey. Image: Shutterstock

While technical skills will take you a long way in any STEM career, it’s being increasingly recognised that a broad skill set that includes so-called soft skills will give your career the edge – especially in the age of automation.

We asked our STEM educators what skills they think students should be attaining today to secure the jobs of tomorrow, and these were the most popular choices:

  • Problem solving (83.7%)
  • Critical thinking (79.6%)
  • Communication (77.6%)
  • Team work (75.5%)

READ MORE: The employability skills STEM graduates need now

We need more mentors!

While 65.3% of our STEM educator cohort named career role models and mentors as the most useful way for students to learn about STEM and future careers, 69.4% also said a lack of exposure to STEM professionals and careers was holding back students from choosing STEM.

Other popular responses for explaining why some students drop out of STEM subjects include the perception that STEM is too hard, and not understanding the real-world relevance of STEM subjects.

Want role models? Check out our STEM profile archives

Thanks to everyone who took part in our annual STEM Education Survey! Find out more about how to use Careers with STEM in the classroom here.

Gemma Chilton

Author: Gemma Chilton

Gemma has a degree in journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney and spent a semester studying environmental journalism in Denmark. She has been writing about science and engineering for over a decade.

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