For students and their parents, choosing third level study options ahead of the closing date for CAO applications on February 1 is never easy – there are a vast number of options to explore and many find themselves confused when it comes to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) related courses.

With over 6,000 students in Cork alone expected to sit their Leaving Certificate in 2018, has all the information parents and students need on STEM careers.

There are diverse career areas open to students with STEM qualifications. The SFI Science in Ireland Barometer, which analysed the Irish public’s perceptions of STEM, revealed that there is a gap between parent’s high level of interest in STEM subjects and how informed they feel.

A Science Foundation Ireland-commissioned survey also found that 62% of first-year college students said that 'fitting in' was the biggest factor influencing their study choices, ranking higher than other factors such as career prospects and course requirements.

Smart Futures is coordinated and managed by Science Foundation Ireland, in partnership with over 200 organisations from research and academia.

Parents are encouraged to visit the parent resources section on to help them to explore STEM career and study options.