You will sometimes be surprised by what careers can come from studying STEM subjects. Ever realised getting into advertising can be helped by studying STEM? By 2023 science, research, engineering and technology jobs are expected to make up 7.8% of all jobs in the UK and occupy 2.5m roles – if your child enjoys English, art & design or science lessons at school then harnessing that creativity for a career in advertising might be for them. Perhaps they even already know they want to get into advertising? Read on to find out how you can help them make the right choices whilst still at school.
There are a whole range of different roles you can go into in advertising, from creative technologist and product engineer to web designer. There’s more to coming up with ad ideas however - there are plenty of other people involved the field who don’t actually create the ads. Their input is just as important to the client’s campaign and they often work directly with the client. Does your child have a wild imagination or enjoy sharing their ideas with friends? If so, this could be the career for them!
Here’s just some of the roles advertising covers:
- Creative Technologist
Combines creativity with technical know how to take on a role that’s a mix between a creative and a developer. They design and create applications, programs and prototypes.
- Business Intelligence Consultant
Uses tools and technologies to provide clients with solutions. This is a great role for people who love to chat, as Business Intelligence Consultants need strong communications skills to regularly deal with clients, staff and specialists from related fields.
- Product engineer
Designs products and their manufacturing processes – practically every industry that involves manufacturing products needs Product Engineers so you’ll never be out of work with this job!
- Web Designer
Works on websites as well as apps, social media accounts and digital marketing campaigns. There’s lots of creativity involved in this job and you’ll need to be able to explain technical matters in terms that anybody could understand.
- Operations Consultant
Helps businesses improve the experience for customers, increase efficiency and reduce costs. Although it’s an office based job it also involves a lot of travel so if you like hot footing around this could be the job for you!
The average salary for an advertising account executive is £24,000. In a senior role in advertising, such as board or business director, you could be earning over £100,000 per annum depending on the company and location of the employer.
There are many ways to get into advertising from placements, internships and degrees to apprenticeships. You could also encourage your child to practice public speaking at school or take a course to help with their confidence and pitching skills that will be so valuable to them in this field.
During GCSEs or Standard Grades, you could opt to study:
- Computer Studies
- Art & Design
- Media Studies
- Business Studies
For academic subjects such as A Levels or Highers, you could opt to study:
- Computer Science/ ICT
- English Language
- Media Studies
- Art & Design
Related subjects include:
- Further Maths
If your child is unsure of what to study at school you could encourage them to take subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, English Lit, Geography, History, Languages (Modern & Classical), Maths, Further Maths and Physics. These are ‘facilitating’ subjects which are required for large number of university courses and will allow them to keep their options open until they’re more certain of the career path they wish to go down.
Skills you need
Here are just some of the skills that will be useful in the future and your child can work on developing:
- Attention to detail
- Time management and organisation
- Technical ability
- Analytical skills
Work experience is a good way for your child to apply knowledge and build skills for the industry they want to enter, which can be in the form of volunteering, shadowing, internships or advertising-related work placements.
Alternatively, during university, depending on the course, it may include a year in industry (known as a four-year sandwich course) where they can build a network of contacts and get real workplace experience. Extra-curricular activities that give them the opportunity to use their engineering, manufacturing and technological skills are also useful to include on job applications – their school may have some after school clubs they can join.
Although many women are already in this type of career, there’s still more work to do to attract women into the science industry as whole. The UK is trailing behind Europe in terms of female representation - currently making up just 16% of the workforce.
Many companies, including EDF Energy, are committed to helping address the lack of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). We run a number of STEM initiatives including the Pretty Curious programme which sets out to challenge what girls’ think they know about STEM. There are some amazing careers that use science and it’s our job to help inspire girls to look differently at STEM using strong female role models and creative digital and hands-on experiences.
- You could find a role model in a friend or colleague that can encourage them through their own experiences.
- There are many free exhibitions and events that bring science to life outside of the classroom, for example take a look at our eight UK-wide visitor centres where you can explore science in a fun free and family-friendly way every school holiday or weekend.
- Be supportive - we’re all unique in our passions and it doesn’t matter if they aren’t sure what they want to do yet.
- Be patient, encouraging and provide the support they need to find their way whether that’s with tutoring, extracurricular activities or just celebrating their successes.
- You could encourage your child to look at volunteering for organisations that marry with their interests. They get to explore a variety of working environments, develop employability skills and make new friends all of which will boost their confidence. You can find a list of volunteer opportunities here.
- If your child is unsure of the subjects to take, you could encourage them to speak to a careers advisor or explore the below resources for guidance:
My World of Work – choosing GCSE options
Prospects career guide
The Complete University Guide
Which? guide to university
- Your child is young and it’s okay for them to change their minds. Roma who was part of the team that design London’s iconic Shard building, did just that – watch her story in 360°.