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The STEM requirements of “Non-STEM” jobs: Evidence from UK online vacancy postings

Economics of Education Review Volume 70, Number 1, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Are employers in “non-STEM” occupations (e.g. "Graphic Designers, Economists") interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) graduates because of the knowledge and skills they acquired through their STEM education (e.g. "“C++”, “Systems Engineering”") or simply because of their problem solving and analytical abilities? This is an important question in the UK where less than half of STEM graduates work in STEM occupations, and where this apparent leakage from the “STEM pipeline” is often considered as a wastage of resources. To address it, this paper goes beyond the discrete divide of occupations into STEM vs. non-STEM: using UK online vacancy postings, we measure STEM requirements at the level of jobs, by classifying each posting as either STEM or non-STEM based on its job description text instead of its occupation identifier. We find that 35% of all STEM jobs belong to non-STEM occupations, and that 15% of all vacancies posted in non-STEM occupations are in fact STEM jobs. Moreover, STEM jobs are associated with higher wages within both STEM and non-STEM occupations.


Grinis, I. (2019). The STEM requirements of “Non-STEM” jobs: Evidence from UK online vacancy postings. Economics of Education Review, 70(1), 144-158. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved July 15, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Economics of Education Review on June 3, 2019. Economics of Education Review is a publication of Elsevier.

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