Half of students studying STEM subjects are likely to enter non-STEM roles, according to research carried out by Milkround and SMRS, which looked at student and graduate attitudes towards STEM careers. The research shows that 58% female and 41% male STEM graduates did not enter a STEM career.

With feedback from 2,433 students, the research findings show that students are engaged and interested in STEM subjects from school-leaving age through to the graduate stage of their education. So what were the reasons for not choosing a STEM role? The research shows:


  • 36% of STEM students are not able to secure roles
  • 31% of STEM students are choosing other careers
  • 29% of STEM students stated there were not enough opportunities
  • 4% of STEM students stated salary was the main factor for not choosing STEM careers

The research asked female STEM students to feed back on the influences and barriers they face when considering a STEM career, with a third of female STEM students stating that they are put off by entering STEM careers as they are perceived as male dominated industries.

The research also focused on how female STEM students and graduates respond to different imagery and content on careers sites.

The findings show that female STEM students and graduates:

  • Positively connect with images of ‘real’ work environments
  • Are suspicious of imagery that includes lots of women, when they know the majority of current workforce is male
  • 78% would apply for a job based on a careers site if they felt the employer brand connected with them on a personal level, with 16% stating they would not apply if they did not connect

Companies can use the research to improve their understanding of the expectations and requirements of current STEM students and graduates, which can help develop ideas of how to connect with potential future talent for your STEM roles.

Access the full report: http://smrsdevelopmentlab.co.uk/staging/STEM-Careers-Report.pdf


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