2013-10-11 09:02:02 -
Nearly six in ten employers of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates think there is a skills gap in the UK, a new study by MathWorks : cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=smartlink&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww .. in collaboration with YouGov shows.
The “STEM Skills Gap Report” surveyed more than 300 employers and 24 of the country’s leading Russell Group academics and found that 59% of businesses and 79% of universities believe there aren’t enough skilled candidates leaving education to meet industry’s employment requirements.
The survey also demonstrates a need for greater collaboration between academics and businesses. More than half of both groups say that working together closely is needed - vital as the study also reveals that universities’ approach to teaching STEM subjects does not always
marry with the needs of employers.
The extent of the skills gap:
- More than six in ten (61%) business leaders and 68% of academics who think there is a skills gap believe it will take over ten years to close
- More than eight in ten (83%) businesses and almost nine in ten (89%) academics think the skills gap needs to be bridged in order for the UK to be competitive in the world economy
- More than half of both groups (51% of industry and 53% of academics) believe investment in the teaching of STEM in Further Education and Higher Education is not as high as in other countries.
Industry and academia collaboration:
- Universities and businesses are united in a belief that the skills gap can be mitigated with greater collaboration between academia and industry. Over half (52%) of employers and almost two-thirds (64%) of academics think that industry does not currently work closely enough with universities
- While more than six in ten (63%) businesses think industry should have a greater say and make a greater investment in the STEM curriculum in the UK, universities are less enthusiastic, with just 46% welcoming this extent of industry involvement
- Of academics who want industry to have more say in the STEM curriculum, all respondents want industry to provide workplace experience to students in STEM subjects. 82% would welcome guest experts from industry to give talks at schools and universities.
Different approaches to closing the gap:
- Whereas more than six in ten (61%) businesses think there needs to be more project-based learning in STEM subjects, to engage students in the investigation of science and real world engineering problems, only a third (34%) of academics think the same
- While more than half (56%) of employers believe students cannot reach their potential in the area without project-based learning, this view is shared by just over a third (37%) of academics
Dr. Coorous Mohtadi, MathWorks says: “This report tells us two important things. First, that more needs to be done to encourage students to study STEM subjects in tertiary education. Second, that STEM curricula need to better reflect the requirements of industry, bearing in mind that during their careers students will need to solve problems that are not yet known, using technologies that haven’t been invented yet.
The different approaches to addressing the STEM skills gap are interesting and highlight the need for greater collaboration between industry and academia; understanding what is required of graduates in the workplace, and how teaching approaches can better meet the needs of industry, in order to equip students with the right skills to enter the workforce and for their ongoing careers.”
Notes to editorsMathWorks commissioned YouGov to undertake a survey of 300 senior managers in UK companies which employ STEM graduates, and 24 leading academics in STEM subjects from Russell Group universities. Research was carried out in September 2013 and was conducted online.
About MathWorksMathWorks is the leading developer of mathematical computing software. MATLAB, the language of technical computing, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numeric computation. Simulink is a graphical environment for simulation and Model-Based Design of multidomain dynamic and embedded systems. Engineers and scientists worldwide rely on these product families to accelerate the pace of discovery, innovation, and development in automotive, aerospace, electronics, financial services, biotech-pharmaceutical, and other industries. MathWorks products are also fundamental teaching and research tools in the world’s universities and learning institutions.
Founded in 1984, MathWorks employs more than 2800 people in 15 countries, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. For additional information, visit www.mathworks.com : cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=smartlink&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww ..
MathWorks United Kingdom operation is based in Cambridge, England. For additional information, visit www.mathworks.co.uk : cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=smartlink&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww ..
MATLAB and Simulink are registered trademarks of The MathWorks, Inc.
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MathWorksDebbie Davies, 44-1223-22-6722