Young talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
The forces of existing STEM initiatives have come together for the first time to form a powerful national umbrella campaign. The aim is to foster interest in young people to pursue STEM training and professions. The national STEM campaign, co-initiated by digitalswitzerland and Pro Juventute also counts other partners, including ETH, SAV, and Swissmem and it is carried out in three national languages.
World changing career choices
STEM is part of the solution to face the challenges of the future. This includes exciting work to tackle climate change and health issues. Through pursuing a STEM profession, it’s possible to contribute to make the world a better place through academic activities or apprenticeships.
The advantage of STEM is that it spans a wide variety of professions. It also offers excellent career development opportunities with endless scope for interests. From an ICT perspective, students can learn cybersecurity and data science disciplines. There are also opportunities for a hands-on approach in the areas of civil engineering and infrastructure. When it comes to technology, machine tooling or innovative applied research might be of interest. It’s time to embrace a career path full of possibilities for growth and success.
Our whitepaper “Empfehlungen für gendersensible MINT-Angebote” (Recommendations for gender-sensitive STEM programmes) is live! Together with Prof. Dr. Bernadette Spieler from the University of Education Zurich, we have the pleasure of publishing this important contribution to the MINT topic. The whitepaper helps organisations and individuals dealing with STEM (science, engineering, technology, and mathematics) to recognise the potential of STEM disciplines.
By 2030, there will be a shortage of 38,700 ICT specialists in Switzerland, as the latest study by ICT-Berufsbildung Schweiz shows. This is despite increased efforts to promote young talent. As the largest contributor, vocational education and training (VET) is the key to meeting the demand for skilled workers. This is because 79 percent of all ICT degrees originate in VET. In order to meet the growing demand for ICT specialists, the apprenticeship quota must be increased from 5.9 to 8.1 percent.
In their study, ICT-Berufsbildung Schweiz explains why the ICT skills shortage has implications not only for the ICT sector but for the Swiss economy as a whole and what we can expect for the future. Further, the organisation proposes additional measures to solve this pressing issue.
digitalswitzerland and Pro Juventute look back at the STEM campaign 2020-2022. A career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) has obvious advantages: incredible potential for personal and professional development, good salaries, and a high chance to enter the job market quickly.
From the perspective of many parents, teachers, employers and the entire Swiss economy, young people choosing a STEM-career is a true no-brainer. But how do young people see it? How do they view themselves in this jungle of future professions, career possibilities and technological upheaval? Are we talking to them in the right way, with the right message and purpose?
Together with Pro Juventute, digitalswitzerland tried to answer these questions. We portrayed 12 role models from different sectors and jobs related to the STEM-field, with the aim of enticing young viewers to choose a career in STEM. From biotechnologists to ICT-professionals all the way to technicians and electricians, we featured them all. Now we are concluding our video campaign called “Future Skills – die Lösung bist du” / “Future Skills – La solution c’est toi (“Future Skills – the Solution is you”) with the aim of raising awareness and enticing young viewers to choose a career in STEM.
We want to take this opportunity to reflect back on some key insights and lessons from our journey…
What did we learn?
1. Show don’t tell
When you want to reach young people, you do not have to explain to them what STEM is; you have to show them, inspire them, tell stories and arouse emotions.
2. Make it relatable
We all prefer stories we can relate to; things that feel or are familiar to us. That applies also to the promotion of STEM-subjects and apprenticeships. If you want to show why being a service technician at Siemens is relatable, talk about the way this job can help to bring down the excessive use of energy in our buildings. If you try to explain the relevance of ICT-professions, show how they can help prevent train accidents, empower women or be of other value to society. The key question remains: what does it have to do with me?
3. Use the power of brevity and emotionality
If you have interesting content, you still need to package it well. It is not enough to have inspiring role models. Your message, if it should reach youth directly, needs to appeal to emotion (visually and content-wise) and have a short but attractive message, to which they can relate. Young people are active and “picky” users – the first few seconds determine if it’s a hit or a miss.
4. Communication channels matter
Don’t forget to entertain! When learning is entertaining, the reach is far greater. Depending on the channel you use, the form of entertainment differs greatly. TikTok and Instagram, prime channels for youth, tend to favour fast-paced and flashy content. Video Mashups with short and punchy messages work best there. Young people often don’t like switching channels. So if you want to reach them on Social Media, make sure all the relevant content is on one platform and is tailored to the audience and the channel. Listicles are effective for Blog formats, more often consumed by parents. On LinkedIn, home of all professionals, content thrives with interesting survey questions or entertaining anecdotes – and don’t forget: those professionals are often parents, too, the most important influence in a child’s career choice.
5. A crucial need is orientation
Among the key needs of youth is orientation. The critical juncture in their lives when they choose a profession is when we can make a difference with good orientation and guidance that doesn’t feel forced and top-down.
6. STEM is versatile and the field is wide open
Another important message and takeaway is that the jobs in STEM are versatile and open to many different personalities and profiles. Increasingly, a more diverse set of young people will enter the STEM-workforce – if we create the right conditions for them by removing barriers and making clear that their skills are valued and needed.
7. Invest time finding and promoting inspiring role models
This one is for the project managers out there: Peers are a great source of orientation and inspiration for young people. However, it is a challenge to find role models that fit all the criteria and that are available and willing to be featured in a campaign video. Creating a message that fits everyone and making the case for STEM is highly context-dependent. Sometimes, topics of gender and inclusion take centre stage. Other times, societal and global challenges like climate change or food security are at the forefront.
8. And remember: “No Man is an island” (John Donne)
Solutions in isolation don’t work. In digitalisation, the crux is that partial solutions have the potential to make the problem of the digital divide worse. Inclusive solutions are the only way forward. Only through a bundled effort can we make an impact that really makes Switzerland future-ready.
Want to know more about the STEM-Campaign and all things related to youth and future skills?
Bern, 26 January 2022 – Many Swiss companies are desperately seeking skilled workers. A targeted amendment to the Foreign Nationals and Integration Act (FNIA) is intended to make it easier for foreign graduates of Swiss universities to be employed in Switzerland in areas where there is a shortage of skilled workers. This was made possible by a motion from FDP National Councillor and digitalswitzerland Vice President Marcel Dobler.
14.12.2022 – The Swiss population is ready for a digital healthcare system. Read the press release in German, French and Italian.
27.10.2022 – Those were the Swiss Digital Days 2022. Find the press release in German, French and Italian.
04.10.2022 – Study on digitalisation in Switzerland: Great willingness – little movement. Read the press release in German, French and Italian.
03.10.2022 – Swiss Digital Days 2022 are coming to Eastern Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Read the press release in German.
28.09.2022 – IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking: Switzerland once again among the top 5 worldwide. Read the press release in German and French.
27.09.2022 – Swiss Digital Days 2022 are coming to Ticino. Read the press release in Italian.
20.09.2022 – Digital sustainability and secure browsing: Swiss Digital Days are coming to the Romandie. Read the press release in French.
13.09.2022 – Augmented reality glasses and e-scooters: Swiss Digital Days are coming to Zurich. Read the press release in German.
06.09.2022 – Digital topics for young and old: there’s something for everyone at Swiss Digital Days in Northwestern Switzerland. Read the press release in German.
05.09.2022 – Switzerland’s largest NFT project unveiled at the start of Swiss Digital Days 2022. Read the press release in German, French and Italian.
30.08.2022- 4. Digital Gipfel Schweiz: International business leaders, academics and digital thought leaders meet to exchange views on the digital future. Read the press release in German and French.
29.08.2022 – Startup battle, hackathon and big bubbles: Swiss Digital Days are coming to Bern. Read the press release in German.
21.07.2022 – From A as in Aarau to Z as in Zurich: Swiss Digital Days 2022 are going on a Switzerland-wide tour. Read the press release in German, French and Italian.
28.06.2022 – No improvement in cybersecurity among SMEs despite digitalisation boost from Corona crisis. Read the press release in German, French and Italian.
18.03.2022 – An important step towards increasing Switzerland’s cyber resilience: statement on Amendment of the Ordinance on Telecommunications Services (OTS) to protect telecommunications infrastructures and services. Read the press release in German and French.
26.01.2022 – Statement on the amendment of the Federal Act on Foreign Nationals and Integration. Read the press release in German and French.
18.01.2022 – The Swiss Digital Initiative presents the world’s first label for digital responsibility. Read the press release in English, German, French and Italian.
23.12.2021 – Stefan Metzger appointed new Managing Director of digitalswitzerland. Read the press release in German, English, Italian and French.
18.11.2021 – Home office is establishing itself as a place of work for SMEs. Read the press release in German, French and Italian.
11.11.2021 – Digital Economy Award: Recognition for digital excellence. The digital pioneers of the year have been selected. Read the Press Release in German and French.
7.11.2021 – Programming with purpose: #herHACK Switzerland’s largest female hackathon sets an example for gender diversity. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
3.11.2021 – The Swiss Digital Initiative unveils the Digital Trust Label Seal. The Press Release is available in English.
28.10.2021 – Digital Day 2021: 12 hours of livestream and over 150 events, online and across Switzerland. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
14.10.2021 – A Swiss Pavilion at GITEX Technology Week, one of the largest technology fairs in the Middle East. The Press Release is available in German and French.
13.10.2021 – The E-ID is inevitable – let’s move forward. The Press Release is available in German and French. Read the statement in German.
7.10.2021 – Wake-up call from pandemic: The Swiss want to improve digital skills. Press Release is available in German, French and Italian. Data is available in German.
30.09.2021 – Finalists of the Digital Economy Award: Fintech industry booming, healthcare more digital as never before. The Press Release is available in German and French.
29.09.2021 – Kick Off for Digital Day 2021 – 6 weeks of inspiration start now! Press Release available in German, French and Italian.
15.09.2021 – Unacceptable solution for the Labour Law – flexible working for the ICT sector continues to be out of reach. digitalswitzerland calls for key points to be added to the insufficient proposal. The Press Release is available in German and French.
7.07.2021 – Possible approach for the creation of a trustworthy Distributed Ledger Technology ecosystem in Switzerland. The Press Release is available in German, French and English.
31.08.2021 – Swiss Digital Day 2021: Digital skills for a digital future. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
24.08.2021 – 3rd Digital Gipfel Switzerland: International digital experts and Swiss business representatives exchange ideas on digitalisation. The Press Release is available in German and French.
18.08.2021 – Security above speed: Yes to the e-voting proposal with a sense of moderation. The Press Release is available in German and French.
13.07.2021 – Swiss Digital Day 2021: This is how the population is shaping Switzerland’s digital future. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
24.06.2021 – Untapped potential for skilled workers among older employees. The Press Release is available in German and French. Survey available in German.
17.06.2021 – Digital Economy Award: Honouring Switzerland’s digital Switzerland’s top digital achievements takes place. The Press Release is available in German and French.
2.06.2021 – digitalswitzerland confirms new president. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
27.05.2021 – digitalswitzerland confirms new president. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
11.05.2021 – Switzerland-wide initiative strengthens digital skills of employees. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
6.05.2021 – SDI Report: Labels and Certifications for the Digital World – Mapping the International Landscape. The Press Release is available in German, French & English.
21.04.2021 – Switzerland provides new impulses for innovation: Privacy Icons wins award for the most impressive digitalisation project. The Press Release is available in German and French.
16.04.2021 – Sascha Zahnd becomes new president of digitalswitzerland. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
12.04.2021 – Cutting-edge Swiss technologies showcased at the digital HANNOVER MESSE 2021. The Press Release is available in German and French.
7.03.2021 – The e-ID law is rejected. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
17.02.2021 – Digital Economy Award enters 3rd round: Nomination phase started. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
14.01.2021 – The E-ID law stands for a modern Switzerland. The Press Release is available in German.
Missed any of our past newsletters? Don’t worry, we’ve gathered them into one easy place for you to enjoy catching up on. All that’s left to do is make a coffee and explore our round-up of projects, activities and the latest news and thinking on all things digital!