Great STEM careers advice

Changing perceptions and creating better futures for your students

The 2018 Annual Student Survey conducted on the careers platform Start gathered the views and aspirations of nearly 4,500 students and found that girls lacking confidence in STEM is still a live and pressing issue. Challenging this gender inequality in STEM is something that effective and tailored careers advice can address by breaking down barriers and providing accessible information across a broad range of careers done by people with diverse backgrounds and skills. Finding out about real companies, real jobs and real employees can help students to overcome stereotypes and assumptions, increase their aspirations and progress in to high skilled, high paid careers.

A place to Start

Start is designed specifically to help teachers and schools provide this tailored support for students. It’s an easy-to-use careers platform helping schools to deliver a personalised careers programme for students from Year 7 to 13.

The difference between Start and other careers platforms is that, not only does it provide comprehensive careers and study information, but it also includes a much needed learning structure for students and teachers to follow.

Starting in Year 7, students follow a programme of online activities such as quizzes and interactive challenges, designed to inform and better prepare them for their next moment of choice. Activities are designed to inspire as well as ensure that every student learns about all of their options. Along the way, they build their personal profile, record achievements and access future study and labour market information personalised to their interests and location.

As well as personalising a student’s experience, data from sources such as the 2018 Annual Student Survey is used to develop content on Start to address the key challenges affecting the aspirations and career progression of young people. For example, the GCSE Choices activities feature inspiring videos of female engineers talking about how studying sciences can lead to a wide range of exciting and very different career choices. Having access to resources like this can help schools to bring a real world context to the options process and the curriculum.

For teachers, a dedicated area on Start called ‘Teacher View’ provides access to the teaching resources for delivering careers based activities. It also provides the tools to monitor and track student activity and their aspirations around careers or pathways.

“Each student uses Start to personalise their career and study interests. From this, we can analyse what’s popular or of interest and how this changes over time. This helps us to focus our lessons more on the careers that are of interest to our students, as well as plan a series of trips and external visitors coming in to school to discuss their career field.”
Katie Bland, Assistant Headteacher at Whitcliffe Mount School (West Yorkshire)

‘Teacher View’ also helps schools to access opportunities available to schools from employers and partners, such as workshops and competitions, including those designed to inspire more girls to pursue STEM careers. For teachers and students alike it is a fresh way to look at careers and really bridge the gap between school and the workplace.

For more information and examples of how schools use Start, visit

bp is an employer partner on Start and you can view the bp employer profile here. It’s also free to sign up and get started.

For more information contact 0113 276 8080.