STEM studies rewarding for female graduates

Peter Terlato 2 March 2017 NEWS

female graduates university study

Opportunities for career longevity and satisfaction.

Women studying and pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) will likely score a job, quickly, that provides career satisfaction and longevity, according to the latest research.

The second edition of the Mastercard Girls in Tech report found the overwhelming majority (84%) of Australian female job seekers who completed a STEM degree secured their first job within six months of graduating and almost two thirds (63%) were very satisfied with the job options available to them.

A very high proportion (80%) of STEM graduates are now working in a field that relates to their degree and decided on their current path during university – on average at 20 years old.

Many (61%) female graduates revealed they are likely to remain in STEM-related jobs their entire career, citing vast opportunities for educational development, personal growth and professional advancement.

Despite this, teens (12-19 years old) still consider STEM subjects difficult (51%) and gender-biased (40%).

So what influences women to pursue these studies? Female school leavers (17-19 years old) pointed to the challenge (42%), the ability to learn something new (35%) and job security (31%) as primary indicators.

However, the report said parents remain the biggest influence for girls studying STEM.

Of those who graduated STEM courses and entered the workplace, two fifths (39%) felt earlier exposure to STEM careers via networking opportunities would have better prepared them for their current roles.

The most common STEM careers for females today are in IT or healthcare and medical.

Only a little over half of all respondents (56%) felt STEM jobs were suitable for women, sustaining the underlying notion of gender inequality in the workplace.

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency's (WGEA) latest Gender Equity Insights report found the gender pay gap had tapered somewhat in the last year, but only as a result of poor economic performance.

In addition to this, the most recent education statistics released by the federal government in January reveal a staggering one in three Australian university students fail to complete their studies.

University graduates earn substantially more over their lifetime than those who don't study, however, it can be tough for students to afford course fees, with some relying on their parents to cover their costs.

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