The Role of Scholarships in Encouraging STEM Education

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STEM has now become the new gold. However, without the right support in terms of scholarship opportunities, many young people will be unable to explore the diverse opportunities and possibilities in the STEM field.

Moreover, It’s not unpopular to find lots of people talking about tech and starting a new career path in the STEM field. It has become the norm to discuss the importance of technology in almost every sector and embrace automated processes. Truth be told, there are many benefits and possibilities in the STEM field waiting to be explored. 

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According to the National Skills Commission in Australia, there will be a 14.7% increase in the growth of professionals, including STEM professionals in the labor market and the same goes for jobs. Additionally, according to CNBC, there will be a 15% growth in the STEM industry between 2021 and 2030 in the US. It doesn’t end there, some of the highest-paid jobs are also STEM-related. In the UK, it was also projected that by 2023, STEM jobs will account for 7.8% of the jobs in the country according to edfENERGY

So, what is this STEM field about? What are the benefits offered? Why should there be an increase in the number of scholarships in the STEM field?

This article in-depth explains all of these and more. Before we go into the details, subscribe to our newsletter to get notified when we post something new. 

Read also: 20 Fellowships In The USA For Graduate International Students – Open Every Year

Why STEM is Important

STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM workers employ technological tools for their day-to-day jobs. To stay relevant in today’s world, countries and individuals need to embrace the STEM discipline and leverage it. 

The STEM discipline embraces innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving, hence making them an essential aspect of today’s world. STEM majorly comprises the following areas:

  • Natural, physical, and life science. It also sometimes includes medicine.
  • Computer, electrical/electronics, and other tech disciplines.
  • All fields related to engineering
  • All fields related to mathematics and the application of mathematical principles for problem-solving. 

Also, the world is rapidly changing, and everyone has to adapt to the changes. STEM has provided humans the opportunity to work smarter and achieve more in less time with the development of machines. From science labs to kitchen tables, the importance of technology cannot be overemphasized. 

Furthermore, the benefit of STEM cannot only be seen in the development of machines. The whole STEM education process also stretches students to become better versions of themselves due to the demands the field requires. 

Consequently, the global lockdown as a result of the Covid 19 outbreak proves to show how handy the products in the STEM field can be. We saw robot waiters, and schools automating lessons for students. Not only university students but also high school and primary school students. This progress has come to stay and many businesses and establishments are now looking for ways to embrace these new changes. 

Benefits Of STEM Education

Having examined the benefits of STEM as a field important to human life, let’s now examine the benefits students stand to gain for choosing to explore the STEM field. These benefits include:

  1. STEM enhances innovative thinking: Students learn to observe, analyze, and come up with possible solutions to problems 
  2. It also encourages problem-solving: This is one of the major reasons there is a high demand for professionals in the STEM field. 
  3. Sten encourages creativity: Creativity is also enhanced through studying STEM courses because you get to come up with new ways to solve technical problems.
  4. STEM courses enhance communication and collaboration: Since the STEM field is wide, and one person cannot master everything, professionals have to specialize and then work together towards a common goal.
  5. STEM also strengthens cognitive skills: Skills like reading and learning are enhanced as students have to consistently open themselves to learning to become relevant. 
  6. Career opportunities: professionals in the STEM fields are some of the highest-paid workers in the world. Hence our introduction “STEM is the new gold”. Developing countries and developed countries need people with STEM skills and establishments are willing to pay handsome benefits to workers who fit their needs. 

Read also: Top 10 Highest Paying STEM Courses In The US

Challenges students face in STEM education

Despite the importance of STEM education globally, there are still certain challenges students face while pursuing STEMM courses at various learning establishments. Some of the challenges students face when it comes to STEM education includes:

1. Funding

It is a well-known fact that education is expensive. However, pursuing a career in the STEM field is more expensive. Apart from the amount students have to spend to purchase books, they also need to get money for materials, fund practicals, go on field trips, carry out research, and many more. It is demanding and without access to the proper funding opportunity, it can be discouraging for a student to continue in the STEM field.

2. Poor Educational Background.

In addition to funding, having a poor educational background can serve as a limitation for students in the STEM field. Students from underdeveloped and developing countries, do not have access to the right learning facilities and opportunities. This hinders their learning process and puts them behind on the map. When they finally have access to opportunities, there is a lot of catching up they will need to do to measure up properly.

Furthermore, the majority of the difficulties students face when pursuing a STEM course abroad are embedded in the two points discussed above. For us to have more qualified people in the field and to encourage more people, these two problems must be addressed properly.

Importance of Scholarships in promoting STEM education

As discussed earlier, there is a need for us to address the root cause of the problem. One of the ways to address the most obvious issue which is funding is the issuance of scholarships. However, this will be given to serious-minded individuals who are not only interested in self-development but are also interested in the growth of their countries. 

The availability of scholarships will play a huge role in encouraging students who cannot afford to fund the fund of their education to still get one. According to UNICEF, about 10.5 million children in Nigeria are not in school. Of course, this is a result of various reasons but funding cannot be taken out be taken out of the equation. If the number of out-of-school children can be this high, it means that at the university level, there is a possibility that the numbers might be even higher.

Moreover, every child has a dream. Some of them dream of actually pursuing careers in the STEM field. But, unfortunately, due to several reasons including finances, many of them cannot actualize this dream. The availability of scholarships will however provide young and promising adults the opportunity to not only pursue their dreams but to also make a relevant impact in their community. 

Read also: What Are The Top 10 Countries Best For STEM Jobs?

Types of STEM Scholarships

There are different types of STEM scholarships available to interested students who wish to pursue a career in the STEM field. The scholarship opportunities are also open for both undergraduate and graduate students in the STEM field. As a student majoring in the STEM field, you may find scholarship opportunities for:

  • Minority students
  • Women
  • Students with financial needs
  • Students enrolled in specific STEM programs (diversity scholarships) and others. 

Scholarship programs that are available for international students in STEM.

We have listed out some scholarship opportunities that are available for international students who want to major in the STEM field. They include: 

  1. Herbert Levy Memorial Scholarship
  2. Microsoft Scholarship Program
  3. DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship
  4. Masergy STEM Scholarship Program
  5. NACME Minority Engineering Scholarships
  6. NSHSS Foundation Scholarships 
  7. SSAI Underrepresented Student Scholarship
  8. AOE National Foundation Scholarships
  9. British Council scholarships for women in STEM 
  10. BHW Women in STEM Academic Scholarship 

Related: Scholarships For Women In Male-Dominated Fields

Important tips needed to apply for STEM Scholarships

Additionally, when it comes to scholarships, whether for international students in STEM or otherwise, there are always specific requirements the sponsor expects. This differs according to the type of scholarship you are applying for. However, some important tips to take note of when applying for a scholarship in the STEM field include:

  1. Identify the specific discipline you want to major in before going ahead to apply for the scholarship. This is important because there are some scholarships open to some specific disciplines. You will look unserious applying for a scholarship you do not wish to major in. 
  2. You can look out for scholarships that are open to your particular discipline. 
  3. Ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements. Additionally, ensure that you provide all the information that is requested.
  4. Moreover, do not forget the deadline. Make sure you submit your application before the deadline.
  5. Get someone to help proofread your application. Do not forget to double-check it to ensure all the answers are accurate.
  6. Reach out to other people who have applied before to get important tips that can aid your application process. 

Challenges in Scholarship Access

The competitive nature of scholarships will always be a major problem and this is also applicable in the STEM field. There are few opportunities available for so many people. Many times, only the luckiest wins and benefits from them. Additionally, some people are not aware of the opportunities available in the STEM field. It might be that they are not intentionally searching for it. So, they never get it. It also does not end there, some students on the other hand are unable to meet the requirements of some of the scholarship applications and they immediately get discouraged. 

However, everything has a good side and a downside. It is important for aspiring STEM students to push against all odds if they are passionate about their course and to reach for the best. Perhaps they do not get the scholarship on the first trial, but they can go ahead to apply again without getting discouraged or giving up. 


In conclusion, the importance of scholarships in the education sector and even in the STEM field cannot be overemphasized. Being that many students have a funding problem, the provision of scholarships to help aid the cost of their education will go a long way in encouraging them. In return, they apply the knowledge and experience gained in the school environment for the advancement of their community and country at large. 

Start With Us

Do you desire to start a career in STEM? The first thing is to pursue a degree in STEM. Wondering how to go about pursuing a postgraduate degree in STEM courses abroad? We can guide you through your journey and make your dreams come true. Reach out to us at EdXtra to access opportunities that will help you on your journey

Enrolling in the top universities in the world can increase your chances with employers. Unfortunately, it can be quite expensive to study abroad due to the current economic crisis. But this shouldn’t limit you as there are other options you can explore to enhance your career. 

MPower Finance and Prodigy Finance are some of the best student loan providers for international students. They also do not require any cosigner or collateral before application. At EdXtra Associates, we can help you with your loan application process. We also provide educational consultancy services for international students to help make your journey easier and faster. You can reach out to us, as we’d love to guide you through this journey. 


  • Mercy Awofiranye is a creative writer with over five years of experience. Currently, she specializes in creating helpful content for students in the education space. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, and learning new things.