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Interest in STEM jobs rising

New data from job site Indeed shows that the rising interest in STEM jobs is finally closing the skills gap

Posted by Charley Rogers | September 19, 2017 | Higher education

The once-chronic imbalance between British employers’ need for recruits with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills and the number of candidates is easing, according to data released by the world’s biggest job site Indeed.

Indeed’s analysis reveals that at the start of 2014 the number of STEM vacancies outnumbered candidates by nearly two to one. Yet by July 2017 the number of people searching on Indeed for STEM jobs had reached 90% of the number of vacancies.

The table below compares jobseekers’ interest in STEM jobs with the number of vacancies. The ratio has risen from 0.57 in January 2014 to 0.90 in July 2017, showing the supply of suitable candidates has now almost caught up with employer demand.

The analysis also reveals a generational split among jobseekers, with Millennials and Generation Xers the most interested in STEM jobs. Indeed’s data shows 30-somethings are the keenest on STEM roles (they are 16% more likely to search for a STEM job than other work).

By contrast Baby Boomers are less attracted to STEM – candidates aged between 61 and 65 are 38% less likely to look for STEM jobs than other roles. 

STEM careers aren’t the exclusive preserve of graduates, and 13% of the 200 most popular STEM jobs listed on Indeed are entry level roles that don’t require a university qualification. The most popular of these junior roles is chiropractic assistant – with an average of 30 jobseekers clicking on each vacancy.

Top 10 most popular entry level STEM jobs

Rank      

Job title

                                                      

Candidates per job listing

1

Chiropractic assistant

30

2

Patient care assistant

25

3

Laboratory assistant

24

4

Clinical assistant

21

5=

Senior research assistant

20

5=

Senior biomedical technician

20

7=

Health unit coordinator

18

7=

Senior phlebotomist

18

7=

Senior laboratory assistant

18

10

Research assistant

17

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Britain’s biggest STEM recruiter is also its biggest employer – the NHS. From January 2017 to September 2017, the NHS listed nearly 5,000 STEM vacancies on Indeed.

Britain’s top 20 STEM recruiters

Rank 

                

Employer                               

Most in-demand vacancy

                                                         

Total vacancies listed

(Jan-July 2017)

1

NHS

X-ray technician

4926

2

Imperial College London

Research associate

3059

3

Specsavers

Optical assistant

1535

4

PWC

IT security specialist

970

5

University College London

Research associate

849

6

Accenture

Software architect

777

7

JP Morgan Chase

Application developer

748

8

University of Oxford

Research assistant

730

9

Jaguar Land Rover

Lead engineer

719

10

Alliance Healthcare

Application analyst

718

11

Barclays

Analyst

715

12

Caresoft

Analyst

638

13

Vision Express

Optical assistant

617

14

Deloitte

Technology consultant

534

15

General Electric

Software engineer

522

16

University of Cambridge

Research associate

519

17=

Citibank

Analyst

502

17=

Sky

Development operations engineer

502

19

Morgan Stanley

Java developer

498

20

University of Manchester

Research associate

453

Mariano Mamertino, EMEA economist at the global job site, Indeed, comments:

“The UK is becoming an increasingly knowledge-based economy, and employers are crying out for people with STEM skills. Even companies not operating in the tech sector require growing support from STEM workers. 

“Skills gaps can hamper productivity and hold back economic growth, so it’s great news that the message about STEM is getting through – and more people are seeking STEM careers. 

“This summer the number of A-Level students taking STEM subjects rose again, which bodes well for the future too.

“Even though the STEM skills gap is easing, employer demand still exceeds the number of suitable candidates – meaning those who leave school or university with good STEM qualifications can take their pick from a range of challenging and rewarding careers.”

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