COVID’s impact on STEM Job opportunities
The STEM industry has sailed very well throughout the coronavirus outbreak. While the economic consequences of COVID-19 and the supply chain disruptions have touched every industry, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers and employers in the areas of science and engineering have remained robust throughout the pandemic. There are more job vacancies across engineering, pharmaceutical, medical device, supply chain, and technology employers than pre-pandemic levels (which were already high) with no shortage of career opportunities in the short to medium term and likely well into the future. It’s a great time to be involved in STEM industries
Both in Ireland and in international western markets, salaries are increasing above the rate of inflation. Year on year ‘STEM’salary growth has been recorded across Ireland, the UK, EU, and the US, whilst salaries in other sectors across Ireland and most of Europe have remained below current inflation rates. Furthermore, people working in the STEM industry have a generally positive outlook: most respondents are content with their positions and hopeful for the coming year.
It’s no surprise that COVID-19 was cited as the top issue to impact career prospects and salaries in a poll of 2,400 respondents (Ireland/UK/Europe) across all industries. With lockdowns and other restrictive measures have had a significant detrimental impact on the overall productivity of countries, survey respondents’ with STEM backgrounds expected more jobs to become available and further pay increases in 2022
Impact of COVID-19 on Job security
COVID-19 also appears to have altered people’s perceptions of job security. 33% of the 2020 survey respondents (data taken before the pandemic) planned to change careers. However, this year, 41% said COVID-19 had influenced their decision to look for a new job (a sizeable increase of 8%), while 25% thought changing roles was not the best option during the pandemic.
Impact of COVID-19 on STEM Students
Following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, STEM students’ internships were abruptly cancelled, and their academic endeavours were significantly interrupted. Many graduates were pursuing a STEM degree or profession or had landed internships and summer employment in STEM industries and their internships were canceled. Career prospects looked at risk in early to the middle of 2020 but once Ireland came out of lockdown 1.0, students adopted remote learning, and those with life science and engineering degrees once again were in high demand. Big Pharma, ICT, Construction, Civil Engineering, Manufacturing, and Supply Chain companies are all competing across Ireland for real STEM Talent.
It’s difficult to predict future events. Fortunately, Covid’s impact on the STEM sector was met with resilience and adaptability to rapid changes. Those in STEM careers are the Scientists, Engineers, and Innovators that will continue to tackle this pandemic and other future global challenges. In short, it’s a great time to build a career in the STEM Industry.