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Website highlights STEM subjects

Thursday, June 19 14:11:01

Parents and students are being urged to consult a Government-industry sponsored website that highlights the study of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), before the CAO change of mind deadline.

The July 1 deadline is the last opportunity students will have to change their choices and preferences for third- level education, following the Leaving Cert.

The website www.smartfutures.ie aims to give students and parents information on the range of opportunities open to post- primary students who study STEM subjects at second and third-level. It includes real life career stories and video interviews with people working in sectors such as food and sport science, space research, cybersecurity, engineering, energy, biotechnology and medical devices.

"Smart Futures is a key part of the Government's plan to increase take-up of STEM subjects at third level by 10pc in the next three years. Last year, CAO applications to programmes in engineering and science constituted 4.6pc and 7.5pc of overall first preference applications respectively, an increase on the previous year. We are seeing an increase in student participation in, and engagement, with STEM through groups such as CoderDojo, for example. Progress is being made," said Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Irish Government said,

"Ireland is host to major international companies in the medical devices, renewable energy and ICT sectors which are creating jobs and require a steady stream of graduates with STEM qualifications. STEM-related careers are personally and financially fulfilling and provide second-level students with transferable, mobile skills that are needed in almost every growing sector. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers play a crucial role in the sustained growth of the Irish economy and when students excel in STEM, they're laying the groundwork to help Ireland compete for the jobs and industries of the future."