More students are taking advanced level science, technology and math (STEM) in the United Kingdom, but the number is not enough to fill a skills shortage in time to prevent damage to the economy, according to the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
The number of students studying math is relatively high, but the number of students studying physics and technology is particularly low, says IET's Gareth James. More than 30,000 students completed advanced, or A-Level, physics this year and more than 18,000 took a technology-related subject, but the number for math is more than 77,000, in addition to nearly 12,000 more studying further levels of math.
However, Imran Khan, director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering, is more optimistic about the take-up for STEM subjects. "Given that we've also got similar increases in the pipeline with AS Levels also going up in science and math, I think we're finally heading in the right direction," Khan says. Some observers estimate that employers will need half a million more STEM graduates by 2017.
From The Engineer
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