Need to know

Are you confused about your teen’s education? And what they’re going to do when they leave school? Well, don’t worry because we’ve got all the latest info on why science and maths A levels are so important and why good STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills offer them new and exciting career opportunities

What is STEM?

The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has pinpointed science, maths, technology and engineering as being the subjects that employers are looking for in new recruits.

In a recent study by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) 60% of employers said they’re having difficulty recruiting STEM-skilled young people. And large firms are now looking at recruiting people from India and China because they have the science, maths, engineering and technology skills (STEM) that businesses need.

Aren’t science and maths boring?

The way science and maths is taught in schools nowadays is dramatically different from several years ago. These days, science and maths A levels involve engaging, hands-on lessons that give young people useful life-skills and lead to a much wider choice of careers than ever before – such as a computer games developer, radio producer or snowboard designer. Although science and maths are challenging subjects to study, they are worthwhile skills to have in terms of the job prospects and earning potential they can offer. Chemistry and physics graduates, for example, will earn on average over 30% more during their working lifetimes than other A level holders.

How can I encourage my teen to take science and maths A level?

You know your child better than anyone. You know what really makes them tick and what they love to do in their spare time. Your teen might not realise that science and maths are the key to their dream job. Or that they are important skills to have even though they may want to do a creative job. For example, a theatre lighting designer needs good maths skills and a sports technologist needs good biology, physics and statistics skills.

So if your teen studies science and maths they are less likely to narrow their career options, in fact they have a much greater choice of careers in every area and the chance to earn a good salary.

Find out more about STEM subjects and careers

Goodtoknow article on Career Development for your teen with Science and Maths

More on helping your teen through school

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Top tips for coping with exams
Why should your child go to university?