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Why is literacy important for a career in STEM?

Stem image

What are STEM careers?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

There are a multitude of STEM-related careers and literacy is at the heart of its success stories.

Have you ever thought of a pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics? Have you hoped of designing architecture as mesmerising as The Shard? Dreamed of finding ways that humans can travel further into outer space? Or exploring how DNA can be used to solve complex crimes?

In order to be successful in any career, you will need key literacy skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening). You and your teachers have been developing these skills since your first day at school.

Why do I need literacy skills in the world of work?

Literacy and good communication skills are fundamental for a career in STEM. If you are an aspiring STEM student your literacy skills will help you to digest scientific and technical information, understand STEM-related language and so much more!

In the world of STEM, literacy could help you:

  • read to become an expert in a new field
  • write a forensic report to close a crime
  • speak to an audience about new scientific findings
  • listen and communicate with your colleagues

How professionals with a range of STEM-based careers use literacy to be successful in the world of work

The videos below introduce professionals with a range of STEM-based careers. They explore how literacy has helped each of them be successful in the world of work.

Whilst watching the videos, think about the following questions:

  • What career routes are there in the world of STEM?
  • How has literacy helped each person to be successful in their career?
  • Are there any ways that literacy has enabled them to be successful in the wider world?

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Further information

If you have enjoyed listening and learning all about careers in STEM, spend some time exploring different routes into your desired career. You could do this through online research, by speaking to a STEM expert and/or reading career related books.

Recommended read: STEM Careers: A student's guide to opportunities in science, technology, engineering and maths, by Paul Greer.

Visit: STEM Learning website is a great resource for STEM careers support