AN EDUCATIONAL PRIORITY

The development of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills is one of the fundamental objectives of the educational agenda, not only for the European Union but for several international agencies and countries such as the USA

These skills are key to fostering a competitive economy that responds to the real challenges of society:

  • Knowledge-based
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Socially inclusive

However, each year the number of young people opting for these training paths is falling1. In Spain, according to Eurostat, only 13 in every 1,000 people have completed studies in these fields2.

The European Round Table (ERT) warns that the low birth rate and the low number of students choosing STEM careers pose a challenge to the recruitment of human resources in most European countries3. Expected changes in the economy and the labour market over the next 10 years will affect the demand for STEM professionals, which will grow to a greater extent than that of professionals in other sectors.

Educational innovations are needed throughout the different stages of education, to equip students with the information, skills and knowledge required to promote their choice of STEM studies

These changes will also influence the skills required in the STEM field, with the existing gap between the skills required at professional level and those which our young people have widening over the next decade. From this perspective, efforts are also needed to improve the training of STEM professionals.

Also, having the most talented students in the STEM fields is critical to achieving higher levels of development in the future, so it is necessary to reverse the trend among these young people who are increasingly less likely to consider technological and scientific studies as an option.  

1Everis (2012), Factors Influencing the Choice of Studies in Science, Technology, and Mathematics, p.7.  More information

2Eurostat, Science and Thechnology Graduates by Sex. More information

3European Round Table, Mathematics, Science & Technology Education Report. More information

4Wilson, R.A. (2008), The Demand for STEM Graduates: Some benchmark projections. More information