As a follow up to our recent article introducing the importance of STEM to the British economy, this post delves into the detail behind the role that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics jobs play within the context of Higher Education (HE).
The original article used the BIS definition of STEM occupations, which provides a broad overview of STEM jobs using 3-digit Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes: The BIS approach includes highly skilled professional occupations as well as lower skilled technician roles.
This approach indicated that in 2012 approximately ⅓ of all jobs in Great Britain were core STEM jobs, and a further 10% were jobs related to STEM. In addition, forecasts using EMSI data suggested that 94% of employment growth between 2012 and 2017 could be explained by STEM jobs.
Identifying HE STEM Jobs
However, to understand the role that Higher Education will play in the ‘STEM revolution’ we need to unpick the detail behind the BIS definition of STEM occupations and extract labour market data associated with those roles specifically requiring higher education skill levels.
This is a relatively easy exercise in Analyst as data has been collated on skills amongst the workforce for all occupations at the 4-digit SOC code level. Filtering the BIS occupations to include only those requiring level 4 or higher skills enables us to extract key labour market intelligence to explore the role that HE will play in providing the relevant skills for the STEM workforce of the future.
How Many HE STEM Jobs Are There?
EMSI data suggests that HE-specific jobs make up approximately one-third of all core STEM jobs in Great Britain, and account for just over 10% of all jobs. Despite an overall fall in employment in Great Britain between 2007 and 2012, HE STEM jobs grew by 6%. HE STEM jobs are projected to continue a similar growth rate between 2012 and 2017, slightly higher than STEM jobs in general, and twice the growth rate projected for jobs in Great Britain as a whole.
Fig 1. STEM jobs and HE-Specific STEM jobs in Great Britain 2007-2017
STEM jobs however make up less than half of all jobs requiring higher education skill levels, and this proportion is falling slightly. In 2007 47% of HE jobs were STEM occupations, this has fallen to 46% in 2012 and is forecasted to fall once again to 45% in 2017.
Using 2011 earnings data, HE STEM jobs commanded hourly earnings over 55% higher than the national average.
Fig 2. 2011 average hourly earnings by job type in Great Britain
Which Industries Employ HE STEM Occupations?
Inverse Staffing Patterns from Analyst allow us to explore the key industries employing HE STEM occupations across Great Britain.
When exploring trends at the highest Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) level, the health sector dominates. This industry employs almost ⅓ of all HE STEM jobs, accounting for over 900,000 jobs in 2012. ⅔ of all HE STEM jobs are spread across the health, science, IT and manufacturing sectors.
Breaking this down into the detailed SIC codes, you can see that Hospitals are the largest employer with over 650,000 jobs in 2012, and three health categories fall within the top 10 by employment.
It is interesting to note that Temporary Employment Activities ranks as the 7th highest employer of HE STEM occupations. This is likely to be driven by skilled contractors employed across a range of industries but for government data purposes they are classified as employed by the agencies they work through.
Fig 3. Industries employing HE STEM jobs in Great Britain 2012
Fig 4. Top 10 detailed industries employing HE STEM by job volume 2012
|SIC Code||Description||HE STEM Jobs|
|6202||Computer consultancy activities||165,189|
|8400||Public administration and defence; compulsory social security||159,443|
|7112||Engineering activities and related technical consultancy||145,338|
|8690||Other human health activities||122,711|
|7022||Business and other management consultancy activities||84,617|
|7820||Temporary employment agency activities||72,950|
|8621||General medical practice activities||71,676|
|7219||Other research and experimental development on natural sciences and engineering||57,856|
|6400||Financial service activities, except insurance and pension funding||57,611|
Unsurprisingly these large employment sectors are also projected to supply the greatest growth in HE STEM jobs between 2012 and 2017. According to forecast data in Analyst the top 4 high-level sectors (health, science, IT and manufacturing) will account for 60% of employment growth of HE STEM occupations.
However, some variation in trends is apparent when looking into projected growth at the detailed SIC level:
Fig 5. Top 10 detailed industries employing HE STEM by growth 2012-2017
|7112||Engineering activities and related technical consultancy||13,988|
|6202||Computer consultancy activities||7,889|
|7219||Other research and experimental development on natural sciences and engineering||6,826|
|7022||Business and other management consultancy activities||6,604|
|7820||Temporary employment agency activities||5,779|
|8621||General medical practice activities||5,766|
|6600||Activities auxiliary to financial services and insurance activities||5,604|
|4120||Construction of residential and non-residential buildings||5,156|
In particular we see growth from Architectural activities And Construction of Buildings, two industries not appearing in the top 10 by employment, suggesting that forecasted growth in the wider construction industry will fuel demand for HE STEM jobs.
Although STEM jobs in general make up just under half of all jobs in today’s British economy, those requiring Higher Education skills only make up just over 10% of the total. HE STEM jobs however are projected to contribute ¼ of job growth across the UK between 2012 and 2017. The health sector dominates the employment and projected growth in employment of HE STEM jobs, while HE STEM jobs command on average 55% higher earnings than the average across all job roles in Great Britain.
To find out more about how you can explore EMSI data further contact Andy Durman or call 07720 641651.