Anna Patty from The Age does an excellent job debunking university and government spin about ‘careers of the future’. About one quarter of my clients come from STEM in Adelaide. They can’t get any job. Worth thinking about before racking up a $70,000 HECS debt.
Job opportunities for university science graduates have failed to match the push to get more students to study science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, warn policy experts.
University of Sydney head of business analytics John Buchanan said while STEM skills were important to society, there was not enough demand for graduate scientists and engineers in the labour market.
"I think having a world with more people who understand science, technology, engineering and maths is fantastic, but ... employers aren't creating that many jobs in those spaces," Professor Buchanan said.
The federal government's latest graduate employment survey shows that biological science graduates face a tough labour market, with only 59 per cent in full-time employment about four months after completing their course.
Andrew Norton, the Grattan Institute's higher education program director, said job opportunities for science graduates, particularly the bulk studying biology, had deteriorated despite a slight improvement in the past year.
"There has been a massive escalation in the number of science students without any corresponding increase in the number of jobs that actually require a science degree," he said.
"I've been concerned for a very long time that the message people are receiving to do science – and we saw money to encourage women into STEM in the [federal] budget – needs significant nuancing. The biological sciences are not a good option even though there are opportunities in other parts of the STEM field. TEM is not a bad bit of advice, but STEM is poor advice."
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