ARTICLE

More taking higher level STEM subjects

14 September 2015

Caroline Spillane, director general of Engineers Ireland congratulated Leaving Certificate students and remarked on the positive outcome of this year's results in relation to STEM and engineering subjects.

 

She says: "The continued uptake of students taking higher-level STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) related subjects in this year’s Leaving Certificate is extremely positive. In particular, it is encouraging to see a rise in the number of students who sat higher-level engineering and technology papers; increases of 5.6 and 19% respectively.

In Ireland and globally, there is unprecedented demand for graduates with engineering and science skills. Looking at the rate of change in technology sectors, as well as the more traditional sectors of the economy, there is no sign of this slowing down. During the last year, through the schools’ engagement programme STEPS which is run by Engineers Ireland, 80,000 face-to-face interactions took place between engineer role models and students, to encourage them to explore the world of STEM and engineering as a career choice. The statistics on STEM subjects across the board, from uptake to grades, indicate the message has been taken on board by students. It is important that we maintain this momentum to ensure a continued supply of qualified, skilled engineers for Ireland’s economic growth and development.

According to the CAO, first preferences for third-level engineering and technology programmes is up by 14 per cent this year. However, students are advised to consider the many routes to engineering as a career, not just through Level 8 and 9 courses, but also via lower-entry Level 6 and 7 courses. Engineering is a vast and diverse discipline, offering many different career paths over a lifetime, from technician up to CEO.  Engineers Ireland accredits third-level engineering courses that ensure graduates are trained in a variety of transferable skills including teamwork and creativity so they are more effective in today’s workplace. Students and parents can visit steps.ie and smartfutures.ie to learn more about routes to engineering and to read profiles of real-life engineers and STEM professionals."

 
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