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28/03/2022

6 Reasons to Stay on at University and Study a PGCE (Secondary) Degree in STEM Subjects

Are you studying for an undergraduate degree in maths or computer science? If you’re a third-year student thinking about what you’re going to do next, Initial Teacher Education (ITE) could turn your skills into a meaningful career.

PGCE maths or PGCE computer science degrees are incredibly important because Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects are largely under-resourced. There’s never been a better time to go into teaching, and if you have skills in these sought-after subjects, you could embark on an exciting, impactful and hugely rewarding career path.

Here are six reasons to stay on at the University of Bolton for your teacher training!

Education Tutor in Class

1)  The UK needs more STEM teachers

There’s currently a shortage of maths and computing teachers in schools, and this means those with specialist skills in these subjects will be in huge demand in the coming years. The problem that schools are facing right now is having to fill positions with non-specialists teachers, and making hard financial compromises in order to attract the right teaching staff.

The acute shortage of STEM subject teachers (in both secondary and further education) has been a problem for a while, with the Equity in STEM Education Report revealing significant shortcomings across the education system back in 2020.

In the report, there was reference to the UK education system still not tapping into the talent of those from traditionally under-represented groups, despite it being discussed for almost three decades.

 

2) Maths and computing teachers earn more  

Due to the shortage of STEM subject teachers, those with a PGCE maths or PGCE computer science degree could have access to higher earnings. In fact, in a bid to support recruitment and help schools with resourcing, the UK Government has offered a tax-free £3,000 salary boost to maths, physics, chemistry and computing teachers.

This salary boost is to be made available to eligible teachers in the first five years of their careers and is backed by a commitment of £60 million in funding. This is a great time for anyone with STEM skills to consider a PGCE (secondary) degree.

3) Help shape future generations

One of the most important reasons to consider a career in teaching is to contribute to society and help shape the generation of the future. This is even more significant in STEM, because of the huge gender gap that exists.

While the percentage of female graduates with core STEM degrees is steadily growing, there’s still a lot of work to be done, with only 35% of women currently studying science, technology, engineering or maths in higher education. That’s just over a third, compared to two-thirds of male students in these subject areas.

If we break those subjects down, just 37% of women are in maths at university level. And even less (19%) are in computer science or computer engineering at university level.

Great teachers can inspire young people to break through stereotypes and pursue their dreams. This is one of the most rewarding parts of being a maths or computer science teacher. You’ll be able to support the next generation in their journey of discovery and growth, no matter their gender or background.

4) Develop transferable skills    

This often gets overlooked, but PGCE (secondary) degrees don’t pigeonhole you to just teaching. In fact, data from the Department for Education actually indicates that a lot of trainee teachers with STEM skills don’t necessarily go into teaching after they graduate.

Those who do go into teaching often have a bit of extra mobility should they want to change their career at any point. A teaching qualification is a qualification for life and is an excellent addition to your CV, whether you decide to stick with teaching or move to something else later on.

Some teachers eventually go on to work in education liaisons, student learning support roles, private tutors, academic advisors, or incorporate education positions.

Having teaching experience can also be beneficial for youth and community leadership, or for roles in recruitment and human resources. So a PGCE can be a brilliant programme to help you develop those workplace-essential and transferable skills that every employer is looking for.

PGCE Teaching

5) A PGCE can lead to further education 

With a PGCE, there’s also the opportunity to better yourself and go into further education. If you want to boost your earning potential and move into leadership, you could pursue courses such as a Master of Education (MEd) or a Doctorate of Education (EdD).

For those who are passionate about progressing in their careers and eventually moving into senior management or policy-making roles, a doctoral degree is a chance to hone your skills, develop your expertise, and show a high level of commitment to hiring decision-makers.

6) Network among the best in class 

Another great reason to stay at the University of Bolton to study a PGCE maths or PGCE computer science course is the chance to train among the very best in the business. We have a thriving postgraduate community and are one of the UK’s largest providers of teacher education.

As a PGCE student, you’ll be surrounded by other like-minded people who are passionate about their particular subject, and this can be a great support during your teacher training. You can also grow your professional network, as you never know who you might end up working with in the future.

As a leading Greater Manchester university that is dedicated to delivering #UniAsItShouldBe, there’s nowhere better to study a teacher training course. The University of Bolton’s School of Education is home to the university's first National Teaching Fellow, and we offer a range of placement and shadowing opportunities in educational settings.

We also have a high teacher graduate employment rate, making Bolton one of the best places to train!

To find out more about applying in 2022/23, see our available courses.  

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