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It all adds up: Better standard of living associated with engineering, technical, scientific and mathematic careers

02 August 2018


In-depth analysis of pivotal life moments has revealed the differences between those in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) pathways versus those who have chosen other, non-STEM pathways – with some surprising results.

The research, conducted by the Institution of Engineering and Technology – to mark Engineering Open House Day taking place on Friday 3rd August – found that those who’ve pursued STEM in their education or career earn more, get on the property ladder quicker and save more than those who haven’t pursued STEM subjects.

A third (34%) of those who studied or work in STEM earn between £41,000 to £100,000 per annum, compared with just 7% of non-STEM workers. Over four times as many workers with a STEM background (51.5%)  also started their careers with a salary of over £21,000, compared to only 11.3% of those in non-technical careers.

And this financial security translates into bricks and mortar. Nearly three quarters (73%) of the STEM respondents own a property, compared with 52% of the non-STEM contingent.

STEM workers were also more likely to save money with the majority (62%) being able to save 10-20% of each month’s salary, compared with the majority of non-STEM workers (75%) being able to save between 0-10% of theirs.

Those from a STEM pathway are over two and a half times more likely than non-STEM respondents to be working in their dream career.

The research marks the launch of the fourth annual Engineering Open House Day on Friday 3 August 2018, coordinated by the IET. The day will see UK companies and organisations host over 50 events, attracting parents and children to learn about engineering through a series of talks, tours and demonstrations. The aim of the event is to inspire young people and their parents, to consider engineering as a rewarding, diverse and creative career. With 2018 officially marked the government’s Year of Engineering, there’s never been a greater focus on the sector.

It is well documented that the UK faces a nationwide skills shortage. 203,000 people with engineering skills will be required each year to meet demand through to 2024, but it’s estimated that there will be an annual shortfall of 59,000 engineers and technicians to fill these roles[1].

Nigel Fine, Chief Executive of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, said: “Studying STEM subjects has many benefits – from higher earnings to greater job satisfaction. Along with the nationwide skills shortage and the Government’s focus on the Year of Engineering, there’s never been a better reason to get excited about a career in STEM. Engineering Open House Day is a great example of how the industry can work together to showcase the range of careers available to young people. We hope this day not only inspires young people to learn more about the challenging and diverse careers available in engineering, but that it enlightens parents about the sector too.”

For more information on Engineering Open House Day, visit the IET's Engineer a Better World website 

[1] Report for EngineeringUK: Engineering UK 2018 report

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