Most female STEM grads land jobs within six months

PETALING JAYA - Four in five science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) female graduates in the Asia Pacific region take less than six months to land their first job.

The Mastercard Girls in Tech study found 84 per cent of first time jobseekers with STEM degrees took less than six months to get a job, with 60 per cent of them stating they were "very satisfied" with their chosen jobs.

The survey is based on interviews with 2,270 girls aged between 12 to 25 across six Asia Pacific markets last December.

Aside from job satisfaction and the ease of starting a career post-graduation, the research showed there is a perception of longevity in career, with 63 per cent of them surveyed noting they were likely to stay in STEM-related fields for their entire career.

Ample opportunities for learning, growth and advancement as well as passion for STEM were key factors listed by respondents for the staying power of STEM careers.

While the benefits of studying STEM as well as careers in the fields are obvious and persuasive, more can be done to encourage young girls to pursue STEM-related careers.

Among the 17 to 19-year-olds surveyed, 30 per cent said they will not choose STEM jobs despite studying STEM subjects.

Up to 39 per cent of girls in the 12 to 19-year-old bracket also have the perception that STEM subjects are difficult, and that STEM careers are gender-biased, with two in five girls believing girls are less likely to choose STEM subjects because of the perception that STEM jobs are male-dominated.

Mastercard Asia Pacific communications senior vice-president Georgette Tan said: "The results of the study show that STEM as a field of study and a career choice is not only fulfilling, but has the depth to satisfy first job seekers.

"While the results are encouraging, they highlight some deeply held misconceptions by young girls and women with regards to the study and pursuit of STEM - they still believe it's a man's world, and that the path is difficult."

"We must continue to inspire, engage and cultivate an interest in STEM among girls," Tan added.