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Growth in STEM Education

Mediaplanet sits down with Deborah Saucier, Provost and Vice-President of UOIT to talk about the future of the STEM discipline.

Question: How have the STEM disciplines evolved in the last 10 years?
Answer: Students in STEM disciplines are now focusing on areas like biosciences and ‘big data’. Their experiences address more real-world problems, ranging from sustainable energy to improvements in human health. And today’s graduates are critical thinkers as well as technically proficient.Question: How has the demand for STEM graduates changed in the last 10 years?Answer: Our numbers show that, two years after graduating, 89 per cent of UOIT graduates employed full-time, are working in jobs related to their field of study. That shows the demand for STEM graduates—and the benefit of a university education!Question: What do STEM graduates mean to the future of Canada’s Economy?
Answer: STEM occupations continue growing faster than non-STEM occupations—by some estimates 1.7 times faster. Canada’s economy needs productivity improvements, and STEM graduates are the leaders and entrepreneurs keeping Canada competitive. They are transferring knowledge and technology to the private sector.

Question: What advice would you give someone looking to break into the discipline?
Answer: Employers want graduates who have the knowledge and skills to succeed in the 21st-century workplace. They want citizen leaders with hands-on experience. I’m happy to see STEM an emerging field for females and strongly encourage pursuing this area of study.