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Career advice for STEM students and graduates

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There's no doubt about it - pursuing a STEM career is a lot of work. With that being said, STEM careers are extremely rewarding and can have a real impact on society and on people's lives. We've put together all of the STEM career advice you need to help you get into a STEM career below. 

Woman coding at a laptop screen

What is STEM?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and maths. When we talk about STEM degrees or careers, we're generally referring to degrees or careers that make use of technology and/or the scientific method to get results. In the educational sphere, it's generally felt that there aren't enough students studying STEM-related degrees, which translates into fewer graduates going into STEM fields; all while the world is becoming more and more technologically focused! 

Because of this, STEM students that can go into STEM careers are in high demand, making STEM a lucrative path to consider.

STEM career paths 

There are many industries you can go into with a STEM degree. Each Career Path Guide below takes you through everything you need to know about working in these sectors. 

Working in engineering & construction

In basic terms, engineering is the umbrella term for the science of materials, construction and technology that form the working parts of our world. Everything we use has been engineered for a purpose. It encompasses the entire process, from drawing up designs to producing and maintaining the finished product.

Learn more about the engineering & construction career path.

Working in science & pharmaceuticals

The pharmaceuticals sector is the scaffolding supporting the medical world, drip-feeding hospitals, pharmacies and patients in need with the medicine and treatment that keeps our nation fighting fit.

However, pharmaceuticals goes a lot deeper than the dispensaries you encounter when you pick up a repeat prescription. Behind the scenes, an army of scientists, engineers and researchers work hard to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare. You might consider them unsung heroes, because the quality of their operations gives millions of people the chance to lead a normal life, or recover from illness.

Learn more about the science & pharmaceuticals career path.

Working in technology & IT infrastructure

Technology and problem-solving go hand-in-hand, so technology consulting is a natural fit for many graduates. While a science or tech degree is a help, the sector offers opportunities for everyone. 

Learn more about the technology & IT infrastructure career path. 

STEM career profiles

Not sure what role you want to go into with your STEM degree? The possibilities are endless when it comes to STEM-focused roles. Here are just a selection of roles you could pursue as a STEM student: 

Find out what you can do with your STEM degree

What if I don't have a STEM degree?

If you're looking to pursue a career in STEM, but don't have a STEM degree, there's no need to panic. There are many avenues you can pursue without having a traditional STEM degree. With that being said, it's important to acknowledge that some areas, for example, engineering do require you to have formal training so if engineering is something you really want to get into, you might need to prepare for going back to university to get the right degree. 

The key to pursuing a career in STEM without a specific degree is preparation. Figure out what career path you want to go down and then do the research to determine what qualifications or skills you need to get you there. Prepare to pivot or change from what you're currently doing and be open to learning! 

Some STEM paths require you to take a course or learn a skill as opposed to doing an entirely new degree. Learning to code, for example, is an essential skill if you're looking to get into technology - more on that below. 

STEM skills to cultivate

Learn to code for free with Bright Network Academy

Coding is fast becoming an important skill employers value. In the below free e-learning modules, learn the basics of the popular coding language, Python to help you stand out on applications.

Day in the life of STEM careers

Want to know more about what your day-to-day might look like in a STEM career? Learn from recent graduates who have gone into STEM careers about what their roles look like.  

STEM success stories

Hear from Bright Network members who have successfully secured roles on how they did it and their top tips. 

Ready to pursue a STEM career?

Search through hundreds of internships and graduates jobs & schemes to find the best opportunity for you to get started with your STEM career.