Time to think of Young Scientist expo 2019

BT survey reveals Stem employees find their work inspiring, pioneering and better paid

Embarking on a little scientific experiment at an event in Synge Street CBS to mark the launch of the 2019 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition were second year students Yaduvir Harhangi and Martin Goz. Photograph: Colm Mahady /Fennell Photography

Embarking on a little scientific experiment at an event in Synge Street CBS to mark the launch of the 2019 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition were second year students Yaduvir Harhangi and Martin Goz. Photograph: Colm Mahady /Fennell Photography

 

Students thinking of participating in the 2019 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) have been advised to begin brainstorming and thinking of ideas before the application deadline in September. The science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) exhibition takes place from January 9th to 12th next at Dublin’s RDS.

Coinciding with announcement of details of next year’s exhibition, BT Ireland has released the findings of a survey it commissioned of more than 900 workers across Ireland to identify current sentiment and attitudes among employment sectors including those working in Stem.

Of those surveyed, 81 per cent of Stem employees stated they were either satisfied or highly satisfied in their job, followed closely by employees working in health (78 per cent). They were followed by law and the humanities including languages, history, politics and sociology (76 per cent), finance (76 per cent) and Education (70 per cent).

In addition, 82 per cent of Stem employees consider their work to be “inspiring” and 35 per cent said that they found the work they are doing as “pioneering”. This is in contrast to the finance sector, where only 7 per cent of employees found their work to be pioneering, and just under 20 per cent were inspired by their work. This result indicates Stem workers are nearly on a par with the 92 per cent of employees in Health who stated they felt inspired by their work.

However, the research also suggested the Stem sector experienced a low level of apprenticeship and internship uptake, in comparison to other industries such as law and the humanities (10 per cent as compared to 23 per cent). With demand for Stem employees on the increase, the findings indicate more entry-level opportunities are needed to increase the pipeline of people training to work in the Stem industry, according to BT Ireland.

Other key findings showed:

– 69 per cent of Stem employees expect their salary to increase by more than 10 per cent in the next five years in contrast to 24 per cent of those working in law and the humanities, and 55 per cent of employees in finance.

– Close to 40 per cent of Stem employees think the best thing about their job are the opportunities to progress compared to those in education who cited the societal impact of their work as what they liked most (36 per cent).

The research highlighted that Stem employees in Galway (95 per cent) are more satisfied with their jobs than their counterparts in Cork (81 per cent) and Dublin (70 per cent). Two in five Galway Stem employees find their work mentally stimulating in contrast to 22.5 per cent in Dublin.

The findings also revealed distinct regional distribution of types of Stem activity; the majority of Dublin and Cork Stem workers are employed in IT with 27 per cent of Galway personnel, for example, employed in the traditional Stem field of research and development.

BT Ireland managing director Shay Walsh said: “Each year we see thousands of young people develop their interest in Stem through their participation in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. We’re incredibly proud of our role as the engine behind the exhibition for the last 18 years.”

The survey presented interesting results, particularly for students and people considering their career options, he said. “Stem not only offers high salary expectations but also the chance to pursue an innovative and highly rewarding employment path. While the research demonstrates a positive sentiment towards a career in Stem, it is vital that employers nurture this enthusiasm, promote the benefits of working in the sector and create more opportunities for people to begin a career in Stem.”

As part of the launch, BTYSTE is looking to bring all past-participants together to join a new dedicated BTYSTE alumni network. “This community will allow fellow past participants to connect, network and encourage further pursuits in Stem in Ireland,” Mr Walsh said – Past participants are invited to join the network by signing up at www.btyoungscientist.com/alumni

The deadline for applications for next year’s exhibition is September 25th. More information is available at www.btyoungscientist.com or by following the exhibition on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat via @BTYSTE. Students, parents and teachers can also call 1800 924 362 from the Republic – or call 0800 917 1297 from Northern Ireland.