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Bored and unhappy graduates?

Nearly 50 per cent of recent science and maths graduates are unhappy because they rarely or never use their science and maths skills in their jobs, according to a recent survey conducted by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA).

“Some graduate jobs do rely on having a specific degree and knowledge but an awful lot rely on just having a degree, so many science and maths graduates end up in a generic office job sitting in front of a computer screen and going to meetings,” says John Connolly, head of recruitment at TDA.

The TDA asked 200 science and maths graduates who finished university in the last three years if they felt that their science and maths degrees were relevant to their careers.

These results come out as the TDA are set to launch a campaign to get more maths and science graduates into teaching. The TDA needs about 6,000 science and maths teachers for the next school year and will be in constant need of more as teachers retire.

“Teaching is a job where you will use the knowledge you spent all those years getting,” says Connolly. “You get to pass it on and you have to keep your wits about you as you never know what a class is going to ask you.”

The TDA pay a £9,000 bursary for science and maths graduates to go through the year-long teacher-training course, followed by a “golden hello” of £5,000 after their first year of teaching.

“Right across the economy there aren’t enough science and maths graduates,” says Connolly. “They are very employable in the private sector and the TDA are competing against everyone else that wants them.”