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Students are being encouraged to consider pursuing unconventional career paths in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Daryl Vaz, who made the call, said youngsters should also look into creating new job fields in STEM to help advance the country’s development.

He was speaking at the third STEM Mentee Workshop, which focused on STEM in the real world, on November 23 at the Ministry’s Trafalgar Road location.

Minister Vaz noted that although these career paths may not fit with the conventional science-based jobs, they “play an equal or possibly more important role in the contribution to our development”.

“In looking into the future, we must recognise that to bring change and create meaningful solutions to our society’s problems, we need diversity. Students from all communities must be immersed in STEM as our nation journeys towards the goals outlined in Vision 2030,” he added.

The Minister also reiterated that a country’s ability to provide a solid foundation in STEM education is an indicator of future growth and development.

He asserts that in addition to boosting employability, STEM education prepares students to think critically and compete with students from different parts of the world.

“Students also need to become familiar with communication, collaboration and coordination between disciplines. These are necessary skills that we see becoming more commonplace in any career path or industry and allow us to solve problems through innovations that can transform society,” the Minister said.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Education and Youth announced its intention to build six STEM schools in Jamaica. Together these are estimated to cost US$133 million.

The workshop was staged by the National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST), in partnership with the Scientific Research Council (SRC) and the Science Division of the Ministry.

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