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Returning to STEM
Returning to STEM

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Week 1: The story so far


In this course, you’ll learn about new and inspiring employment opportunities and trends in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), see how other people have navigated their careers and, most importantly, how they have made a return to STEM employment following a career break. Throughout the course, you’ll be given challenging and thought-provoking activities to help you define your next steps.

Watch the video to hear Dr Sue Black OBE introduce this badged free course and Week 1.

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You’ll begin the course by taking a look at some of the potential pitfalls and steps up in getting back to work, and think about what these might mean to you. You’ll also find out what the course might do for you. Next, you’ll move on to reflect on your career so far and start to look at ways you might be able to make a change.

As suggested in the Introduction and guidance [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , it is recommended that you keep notes (either online or paper-based, whichever you prefer) to record your notes and responses to the activities throughout the course. There are also several tables and documents which are useful to work on directly and keep.

By the end of this week you should be able to:

  • reflect on your own career journey
  • identify your key experiences and attributes
  • know what some of the main strategies for returning to work look like
  • be prepared and motivated to make a change.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey. Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.