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Title: Where Do All the STEM Graduates Go? Higher Education, the Labour Market and Career Trajectories in the UK
Authors: Smith, Emma
White, Patrick
First Published: 2-Jul-2018
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
Citation: Journal of Science Education and Technology, 2018, pp. 1-15
Abstract: Problems with the supply of highly skilled science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workers have been reported by employers and governments for many decades, in the UK, the USA, and elsewhere. This paper presents some key findings from a project funded by the Nuffield Foundation that examined patterns of education and employment among STEM graduates in the UK. Five large-scale secondary datasets—comprising administrative, survey, cross-sectional and longitudinal data—were analysed in order to provide the most comprehensive account possible. The findings suggest that there is no overall shortage of STEM graduates but there is considerable variation in the career outcomes and trajectories of different groups. Recruitment to STEM degrees has stalled over the past 20 years but most STEM graduates never work in highly skilled STEM jobs—in any case, the majority of professional STEM workers do not have (or presumably need) degrees. Some groups of STEM graduates are currently under-represented in the highly skilled STEM workforce and increased recruitment from these groups could grow the numbers entering STEM occupations. However, employers may have to modify their views on exactly what constitutes a valuable or desirable employee and to what extent it is their responsibility to train their workers.
DOI Link: 10.1007/s10956-018-9741-5
ISSN: 1059-0145
eISSN: 1573-1839
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2018, Springer Verlag (Germany). Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 12 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Sociology

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