STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) employees believe job security is more important than a pay rise, new research has revealed.
According to a market survey by STEM staffing business SThree, more than half (53%) of people in these professions would prefer to stay in their current positions than seek higher salaries elsewhere, with only 16% of those surveyed disagreeing.
The How the STEM World Evolves study – which involved 2,300-plus participants in Germany, the Netherlands, USA, UK, and Japan – found that flexible working arrangements, a sense of purpose and upskilling opportunities were more appealing that salary and benefits among workers.
Half (50%) claimed they would pick career-developing opportunities over more pay, while nearly two-thirds (63%) ranked being able to carry on working flexibly as a key factor that would affect their professional development.
A rising fear of AI and automation was highlighted in the research, with a third (34%) admitting to worries about job loss. This rose to 44% among younger employees.
Timo Lehne, CEO of SThree, said: “Our How the STEM World Evolves study uncovers the priorities of STEM professionals across key markets. The data demonstrates an emphasis on job security, flexibility, and a sense of purpose. The study also notes apprehension regarding AI and automation, while upskilling remains important. The onus remains on employers in STEM industries be proactive on these evolving expectations, which is crucial for attracting and retaining skilled talent.”
Respondents also expressed concerns over workplace wellbeing, with 28% citing these. Personal purpose at work is also a key driver for workers, noted by more than four in five (81%) of those polled.
Additionally, a third (33%) of 30-39-year-olds surveyed think they are likely to look for new roles within the next 12 months, while only 14% of 50-65-year-olds said the same.