Could the future of STEM careers outreach be on TikTok?
Technology is always evolving but I do think that in decades to come we’ll look back at the period between 2019 and 2023 as a time of particularly rapid change in terms of how the world connects via online platforms. In particular, our abruptly adopted preference for virtual meetings and home working patterns will certainly leave its mark on history. We seem to have found our groove in opting to meet clients and colleagues online – in turn reducing our carbon footprint and the time spent travelling.
It feels that the time has come for the construction industry to further explore what digital platforms can offer in terms of connecting with young people and inspiring STEM careers uptake.
Curtins has already taken its graduate training programme and work experience opportunities online when needed. In doing so we were able to maximise our impact on the professional development of young people when we couldn’t meet in person. Now we’re looking at how social media can help us achieve our goals of inspiring more young people to enter into careers in engineering. The greater our reach, the larger and more diverse the pool of people we could be attracting to join our team; now, tomorrow and perhaps in 10 years-time.
Around 40% of 18-24-year-olds are turning to TikTok rather than Google for searches
I read recently that around 40% of 18-24-year-olds are turning to TikTok rather than Google for searches, and much of the most successful content on the platform can be categorised as educational and how-to videos. With this is mind, during 2023 Curtins will be focussing some of our energy on exploring how this channel could become a platform for showcasing engineering careers to those aged 13-18 years.
Alongside this, our STEM Ambassadors will continue with the great work they do in meeting with young people to enthuse about the positive impact engineers and transport planners have on our communities. But, even with STEM Ambassador representatives across all of our offices, our reach is limited. With an algorithm, some trending music and the right content on our side, we will be able to reach more young people with our STEM careers message than ever before. Watch this space…