STEM Southwest

Boys twice as likely as girls to consider a career in tech

One in every two secondary school students sees an opportunity for them in the industry
Sarah O'Sullivan St. Angelas Secondary; Elaine O'Donnell Gilead Sciences; Aimee Hickson Mahony St Aloysius College; and Marguerite O’Sullivan, STEM Southwest

6 April 2022

For every female student considering a career in tech, there are two-and-a-half mae students considering the same, while just one in every two students sees any opportunities for them in the industry.

Responding to a survey conducted by Hayes Culleton Group in conjunction with STEM South West, more than 600 transition year students from throughout the country voiced their opinions and concerns around their future career prospects.

The survey found that 75% of all respondents are worried about their future career. Common fears include whether they will love their job, whether their chosen field and skill set will eventually be being made redundant by technology, and their capacity to adapt.




It also highlighted regional differences as Cork teens were more than twice as worried about future job, career, and employment than the national average.

Despite growing interest in sustainability and environmentalism, the survey found that fewer than 15% of students see the potential for a STEM career in the environment and sustainability sector.

The findings were released on the day of the STEM South West Expo, an industry-run initiative to promote science, technology, engineering and maths in the region.

“Finding out what these young learners are thinking and even more importantly what worries them is so important,” said Marguerite O’Sullivan, chairperson of STEM South West, which took place today.

“It is incumbent on us in the industry to give them as much knowledge as we can so that they can make informed decisions which will have a positive impact on the choices they make for learning and development in the future. That is the exact rationale behind the STEM South West Expo – we wanted to give students an opportunity to see the wealth of possibilities that lie ahead. And I believe the Expo we have put together really delivers on that.”

STEM South West attendees are given the chance to meet with representatives of companies including: Pfizer, Gilead, Johnson & Johnson, Depuy Synthes and more and will be given a chance to discuss career opportunities with people that work within the various industries as well as those in educational institutions who can advise on study paths. 

Speakers included Michael Manning, trackside engineer with F1’s Team RedBull, Fionnghuala O’Reilly, NASA datanaut, and more.

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