STUDY STEM FOR SECURITY
A science, technology, engineering or maths job can secure your future, Lauren Ahwan writes
W OMEN can improve their economic status by studying and working in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths.
Research by Mastercard Girls in Tech shows four in five Australian women who graduate with a STEM degree take less than six months to secure their first job.
The research also reveals most female STEM graduates expect to stay in STEM-related fields for their entire working life, citing the number of career options.
Mastercard spokeswoman Karen Lee says while efforts to attract more women into STEM have increased over recent years, there is still a long way to go.
She says increasing women’s participation in STEM study and employment can improve their economic status and job security.
“The results of the research show us that STEM as a field of study and a career choice is one that is not only fulfilling, but it has the depth and breadth to satisfy first jobseekers,’’ Lee says.
“If you look at where you know the jobs are going in the future, a lot of jobs are going to be in technology so it’s really important to encourage girls to come into that field.’’
Lee says many young girls perceive STEM subjects to be too difficult, while others shy away from STEM because they do not want to work in male-dominated workplaces.
“We need to bring careers in STEM to life – it’s not all sterile and you won’t be sitting at a desk all day,’’ Lee says. “There are many creative (career) pathways you can go down by studying those (STEM) subjects, which can be a real eye opener for many women.”
A paper released from the Office of the Chief Scientist last year highlighted the need for ongoing action to support women to pursue STEM careers, saying they are just as talented and capable as men.
“Australia is already a global leader in science,’’ chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel says.
“Imagine what we could achieve if women and men felt equally welcomed and appreciated in STEM professions.”
Giselle Stutzer, 26, graduated from TAFE last year with an Associate Degree in Electronics Engineering and is now studying an electrical and electronic engineering degree at university.
“There are opportunities everywhere (in Australia) so there will be job security, for sure,’’ Stutzer says.
OPPORTUNITIES: Giselle Stutzer chose to study vocational and tertiary STEM qualifications.