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Why choose to do science, technology or engineering? by STFC watch

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    Got a question about why you should choose to study science, technology or engineering? Our experts are here to help.

    Maria is an instrumentation engineering graduate at the UK Astronomy Technology Centre. Strangely, she studied mechanical and electrical engineering before deciding to take a different direction in her career and embark on a Masters in Physics. Only graduated last September, Maria is now working on opto-mechanical design in nanosatellites.

    Bill has a BSc in Physics with Astrophysics and is currently on the Science and Technology Facilities Council's graduate scheme as an optical engineer. He works with cutting edge science and technology, primarily in Astronomy applications.

    Please be aware all answers will be posted on Tuesday 13 February.
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    Google, for example, ask for Computer Science or other related fields. Would software engineering be a good choice or put you at a disadvantage to those who chose computer science?
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    Hi there,

    I'm looking for advice on STEM, wondering someone could assist?

    I've recently moved from South Africa to the UK and I'm wanting to gain some qualifications. My subject of interest is stem. I've found a postgraduate course on the Open University but I'm not at that level yet.
    Im looking for a good place to build my foundation. Wondering where I should start?

    Also, this may sound silly but is STEM an actual subject that incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics into one subject? Or is it something else?

    I'm still currently researching about STEM and do not want to rush into anything hastily. So any information or advice on where to start would be greatly appreciated

    Kind Regards
    Luke
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    (Original post by Lukegee)
    Hi there,

    I'm looking for advice on STEM, wondering someone could assist?

    I've recently moved from South Africa to the UK and I'm wanting to gain some qualifications. My subject of interest is stem. I've found a postgraduate course on the Open University but I'm not at that level yet.
    Im looking for a good place to build my foundation. Wondering where I should start?

    Also, this may sound silly but is STEM an actual subject that incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics into one subject? Or is it something else?

    I'm still currently researching about STEM and do not want to rush into anything hastily. So any information or advice on where to start would be greatly appreciated

    Kind Regards
    Luke
    No, STEM isn't an actual subject you can study - it's just a description of a group of related subjects like "humanities" or "arts". There are some broader courses in the UK (usually called natural sciences) but for most degrees you have to choose a subject (eg: engineering, chemistry, maths, biology) to specialise in.
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    (Original post by ryanb8741)
    Google, for example, ask for Computer Science or other related fields. Would software engineering be a good choice or put you at a disadvantage to those who chose computer science?
    Hey, Maria here.

    It depends on what you would like to do as a job after uni. There are a couple of different courses you can do, e.g. software engineering, computer science or a more interdisciplinary degree, e.g. computer and electronic systems. If you only enjoy coding and you are not as interested in working in a lab with electronics and how the computer actually works, I would say software engineering is the better choice.

    In terms of job hunting, both computer science and software engineering give you access to the same jobs, so I don't think it really matters what you choose. Computer science is more broad which gives you a chance to learn about more things and figure out what you enjoy or don't enjoy working on.

    Hope this helps!
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    (Original post by Lukegee)
    Hi there,

    I'm looking for advice on STEM, wondering someone could assist?

    I've recently moved from South Africa to the UK and I'm wanting to gain some qualifications. My subject of interest is stem. I've found a postgraduate course on the Open University but I'm not at that level yet.
    Im looking for a good place to build my foundation. Wondering where I should start?

    Also, this may sound silly but is STEM an actual subject that incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics into one subject? Or is it something else?

    I'm still currently researching about STEM and do not want to rush into anything hastily. So any information or advice on where to start would be greatly appreciated

    Kind Regards
    Luke


    Hi Luke,

    So STEM isn't a subject, but is just a broad term that includes the different sujects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Perhaps similar to how the 'Arts' is a term to cover subjects like music, dance, fine art etc.

    It depends what qualifications you currently have as to what would be a good next move. Generally, people who study a STEM subject at university - postgraduate or undergraduate - will have done relevant A-levels at secondary school. For example, I studied Physics with Astrophysics (undergraduate) at University and to get on that course I needed to have A-level Maths and Physics. I believe you can get A-levels from colleges, but also you can do online A-level courses.

    So the basic steps to your goal of studying a post graduate STEM subject would be: A-levels in STEM subjects, then an undergraduate STEM subject, then postgraduate STEM subject.

    Hope this helps, feel free to ask more questions.

    Thanks,
    Bill
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    TSR Support Team
    Thank you everyone for your questions - that's the end of the chat. And thanks to Maria and Bill for their help.
 
 
 
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