Interest For STEM Jobs Rises, Familiarity With Career Options A Challenge, Says IBM Report

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Two-in-three job seekers and career changers in India reported familiarity with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) jobs, with a majority of Indian respondents overall saying they are interested in working in STEM.

Job seekers, students, and career changers around the world want to pursue roles related to STEM across different industries, but say they are not familiar with career options.

These were some of the global findings from a new study that IBM. Administered by Morning Consult and commissioned by IBM, the study is based on more than 14,000 interviews of students, people seeking new jobs, and people seeking to change careers, located across 13 countries, including India.

At the same time, online training and digital credentials are emerging as a recognised pathway to opportunity as respondents plan to seek new jobs in the year ahead.

Respondents also cited concerns that career options may not be available to them.

In India, more than half of all audiences said they are familiar with digital credential programs, while those that have earned a digital credential agree that it helped them achieve their career goals. All audiences surveyed in India agreed that career opportunities in STEM will increase over the next 10 years. However, cost emerged as one of the most important factors to consider when deciding to earn a digital credential.

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“Technology training can have a transformational effect on a person’s life,” said Justina Nixon-Saintil, IBM chief impact officer.

“There are many misconceptions about what’s needed to pursue a rewarding and lucrative career in today’s rapidly advancing workplace. This is why we must raise awareness of the breadth of science and technology roles that exist across industries,” she added.

Sandip Patel, managing director, IBM India, said, “While India has emerged as a major hub for STEM talent, the fast-changing pace of technology makes it crucial for current and aspiring STEM professionals to have access to tools and resources that can help them build the right skills.”

The study said that Indian job seekers and career changers reported the highest levels of familiarity with STEM jobs among the 13 countries surveyed.

Two-in-three job seekers and career changers in India said they’re very or somewhat familiar with STEM jobs. While over a quarter of them said they currently work these types of jobs, a majority of respondents across all audiences said they’re interested in working in STEM.

Compared to career changers in the other countries surveyed, India career changers are more interested in working in a STEM job.

61% of global respondents think they are not qualified to work in a STEM job because they don’t have the right academic degrees. 40% of students say the greatest barrier to professional or technical skill development is that they don’t know where to start.

60% of respondents worry that digital credentials may be costly to obtain. Being able to continue to work while earning a credential is particularly important to career changers.

Learners and workers around the world are planning to make a change, with about 60% of respondents looking for a new job in the next 12 months.

61% of students and career changers around the world are actively looking for a new job now or plan to within the next year. More than 80% of all respondents have plans to build their skills in the next two years. At least 90% are confident they can develop skills or learn something new from an online program.

Globally, awareness of options around different STEM roles across industries is low, and many are concerned these careers won’t pay enough.

50% of global respondents are interested in pursuing a STEM-related job. 64% of career changers are not familiar with STEM jobs. Many respondents are unsure of which careers are considered to be a STEM job.

62% of respondents share concerns that they won’t be able to find a STEM job that pays enough to support themselves or their family.

Respondents around the world are optimistic that roles in STEM fields across sectors will increase in the future, and that digital credentials are a good way to supplement traditional education and increase career opportunities.

66% of all respondents globally think that STEM jobs across industries will increase over the next decade. 86% of those respondents who have earned a digital credential agree that it helped them achieve career goals.

75% of all respondents agree that digital credentials are a good way to supplement traditional education. Increased career opportunities and qualifications were the top reasons why respondents across the globe said they wanted to earn digital credentials.

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