IBM finds the cost of training could scupper UK’s drive to become a ‘science superpower’
The cost of training for a scientific or technology-related career is seen as the number one concern of UK students, job applicants and career changers, a survey commissioned by IBM has revealed.
IBM found that job seekers who were eyeing up roles in science and tech areas saw the necessary training as unaffordable.
The global study by IBM and Morning Consult revealed that six in 10 job seekers, students, and career changers across 13 countries who wanted to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) roles believed that “digital credentials” were too costly.
In the UK, cost was the number one concern of survey respondents – a perception which could threaten to slow the UK’s drive to have its own Silicon Valley.
Survey participants were also concerned that STEM-related career options may not be available to them, with over 60 per cent of respondents worried a lack of academic qualifications meant they were not qualified to work in a STEM job.
However, online training and digital credentials emerged in the survey as a recognised pathway to opportunity, with around 60 per cent of respondents planning to seek new jobs in the next 12 months.
“Technology training can have a transformational effect on a person’s life,” said Justina Nixon-Saintil, IBM’s Chief Impact Officer. “This is why we must raise awareness of the breadth of science and technology roles that exist across industries.”
The study also found that UK students are optimistic about the growth of STEM jobs in the years ahead, with more than 70 per cent believing there will be a surge in career opportunities in STEM roles in the next ten years.
This comes as the government’s plan to turn the UK into a ‘science superpower’ and create a British Silicon Valley is gaining momentum.
On Saturday, the government launched a new £150,000 initiative to encourage people to return to STEM based jobs, especially women.
Kemi Badenoch, Minister for Women and Equalities said: ““We are investing in returners so we can plug the STEM gap, increase workplace equality, and boost our economy. That’s good business sense”.