STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
In the United States there are significantly more job openings in STEM-related than non-STEM occupations. At the same time, there is a shortage of qualified people to fill these careers opportunities. For the U.S. to continue to compete in a global economy and succeed in addressing our environmental challenges, we must do a better job of educating and engaging our students in STEM. It is more important than ever that all students have the foundational knowledge and skills needed to be an informed citizen and to pursue a career in STEM if they so choose.
Here are 5 things to know about the STEM field:
1. STEM is the fastest growing job market: Over the past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs was 3X greater than that of non-STEM jobs (source).
Looking to the future, the Economics and Statistics Administration and the Center on Education and the Workforce expect the field to increase by another 17 percent.
2. High Earning Potential in STEM: The average wage for all STEM occupations is $85,570, nearly double the average for all occupations ($47,230).
Only five out of the 100 STEM jobs have wages below the average for all occupations:
Moreover, STEM degree holders earn more, regardless of whether they work in STEM or non-STEM occupations. A STEM degree holder can expect to earn 12% more than non-STEM degree holders, when all other factors are held constant (source).
3. Almost 80% of STEM jobs require a bachelor’s degree (or higher).
4. Unemployment Rates in STEM are lower than non-STEM occupations:
5. Demographics: According to a 2014 National Science Board report, African Americans, Latinos and Latinas, American Indians, and Alaska Natives combined make up only 10% of the country’s science and engineering workforce.
This has everything to do with access to STEM opportunities. Fostering a love of STEM and developing the foundational knowledge and skills that will serve students throughout their lives must start early (source).
These facts about STEM careers provide more support when we communicate to students the myriad opportunities STEM fields have to offer.
How do you communicate a future in STEM to your students? Be sure to add your voice in the comments below!