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Science, Mathematics and Statistics

Future Trends

the future

  • It is likely that increasing numbers of science and technology companies will merge - this is a trend throughout the world. For instance, in Japan, Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi are merging their LCD (liquid crystal display) operations in order to save money 

  • Environmental jobs are going to grow in importance.  According to the European Environment Agency, air pollution from industry costs Britain £3.4 billion to £9.5 billion a year in health and environmental damage.

  • Predicting the future, the Guardian suggests that by 2020 there might be 'traceability managers' to examine global supply chains and check for suppliers that might be excessively pollutive or carbon-costly to buy from, and 'cloud controllers', who will work to increase the ability of clouds to reflect solar radiation.

  • Experts in renewable energy – solar, wind, tidal, hydrogen – are likely to be in demand

  • There is a possibility that the comparatively high costs of labour in the UK will encourage companies to locate their premises in other countries. Although the UK is a world leader in various scientific areas, ever greater numbers of science graduates are being produced elsewhere, and they are our competition.

  • Britain is still likely to continue to excel in some areas, particularly in those involving advanced materials (which means growing opportunities for materials and chemical engineers), biometrics (such as fingerprint readers and retinal scanners) and robotic engineering (e.g. robotic vacuum cleaners)

  • Scientists who can speak several languages and work well with people from different countries will improve their chances of work

  • Despite science employers experiencing skill gaps in some work areas, recruitment is likely to continue to mainly be at graduate and postgraduate level.

  • General skills that are ‘missing’ amongst employees and applicants in science and mathematical careers include business skills, management skills, IT skills and project management and team working skills


Read more about this job sector, including the skills that might be needed in the future, on the National Guidance Research Forum site