The STEM pipeline is pretty depressing | just some thoughts

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2022-05-12 08:00:07

Computer science, maths, physics, chemistry, engineering, whatever. How many people studied these at university with dreams of doing something interesting, positive, or generally helpful?

As a STEM graduate from a good university, it's been depressing watching myself, friends and coursemates get funneled into big tech, finance and the defense sector. I know people working to make ads more effective. I know people working on investment banks internal platforms. I know people working on missiles. As far as I'm aware, none of them went to university for this, so why are they?

When students are paying £9,000 a year to study and £900 a month for the luxury of having a roof over their head (in London), it's hard to blame people for working in finance. You can either work for a charity and just accept that you will be paying someone elses mortgage for the rest of your life, or you can gain financial independence in return for helping JP Morgan finance the destruction of the planet. Is this why Tony Blair wanted us all at university?

However, I do think there is some responsibility on us STEM students. We spent three years developing these fantastic mathematical, logical and reasoning skills, and we can put them to good use if we are brave enough. Maybe we don't even need to put them to good use, maybe we just need to stop using our skills for evil.

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