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Home » Opportunities in STEM » Stepping away from traditional career paths to seize tech opportunities

Dr Jacqueline Hall

Head of Apprenticeships and Skills, BAE Systems Plc

Increasing cost of living pressures and a world full of technology evolving at a relentless pace can make embarking on a STEM career intimidating. However, this shouldn’t be the case.

The idea that you need to hone in on a single profession and spend your entire career in that area, is one of the past. We have seen a big shift in attitudes, which have been linked to both the ‘Great Resignation’ and job losses from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Career-changers going into STEM

Something that was not expected is the increasing number of people with non-traditional backgrounds and skillsets using these inflexion points in their lives to transition into jobs in technology and wider STEM roles.

In my position as Head of Apprenticeships at BAE Systems, we’re seeing a huge rise in applicants who want a change from their career path, whether they be in the early stages of their vocation or 15 years in.

A lot of the work that companies such as BAE Systems undertake is specialised, which means we need to train you ourselves. This puts many applicants on an equal footing no matter what point in their career they are at, so there really is no wrong time to start.

Choosing to make a career change can be
quite daunting, so we offer one-on-one
support every step of the way.

Easier access to careers

Apprenticeships are a career avenue which helps to level the playing field and break down barriers to a career in STEM with a ‘learn as you earn’ approach, meaning you do not have to endure financial sacrifices.

At any one time, we have thousands of new apprentices in a range of age groups and have seen situations as unusual as teachers becoming software engineers. We also understand that choosing to make a career change can be quite daunting, so we offer one-on-one support every step of the way.

Embarking on a new journey

We as employers look for more innovative ways to bring new talent into the workforce from a range of backgrounds, and it’s becoming clear that those without a STEM background are keen to meet us halfway and take the plunge.

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