Workforce Development

5 Reasons You Should Support and Consider a Career in STEM

27 March 2018 | Team EACPDS

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Why is STEM education so important for today’s workforce? Even though career fields related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics are responsible for more than half of our sustained economic expansion, only 5.9% of the total U.S. workforce was employed in those fields in 2015 (Household Averages Annual Data, U.S. Department of Labor, Bereau of Labor Statistics.) That means the demand for STEM-educated professionals is at an all time high. Developing these skills is critical to maintaining healthy economic growth in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Education calls STEM classes the ‘education for global leadership’. STEM careers could be anything from an industrial engineer who creates systems for managing production processes to a microbiologist who studies the growth, structure, and development of small organisms. Take a look at Minnesota State CareerWise Education’s list of top STEM careers that are in high demand.

You’re probably wondering what some of the benefits there are to taking on a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics field. Here are 5 great reasons you should consider a career in STEM.

Innovation Leadership

A career in STEM means a career on the cutting edge. It means positioning yourself in front of the next ground-breaking technology. You will be working with leading-edge technology in fields like computer technology, medicine, engineering, design, and robotics. These fields give you the freedom and flexibility in your job to clear a path for new ideas and innovation.

Industry Growth

As technology continues to develop, STEM careers are the fastest-growing careers in the United States – and the world. The number of American STEM careers is projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022.

Having a background in a STEM gives you a competitive advantage when applying for jobs and the flexibility to change jobs easily because your skills are cross-marketable. For example, an engineering student can pursue chemical engineering, computer science, or environmental science and a student with a degree in biological sciences can also pursue opportunities to work in research labs, pharmaceutical companies, medical school, or veterinary schools.

Less Competition

There are 3.2 million jobs in STEM fields that go unfilled every year because there is no one qualified to fill the positions. There is a staggering amount of open STEM positions – pursue a career that secures you a spot in the workforce. The high demand for professionals in these fields means that you won’t have to sweat the interview – because no one else can do the job they’re asking for.

High Pay

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 93 out of 100 STEM jobs had wages above the national average in 2015. Forty-seven percent of people with a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field make more than people with a Ph.D. in other careers. You’re almost guaranteed to make more money than others that choose a different career path.

Take a look at the average salaries for entry-level, post-graduate STEM majors and non-STEM majors from an article written in Business Insider:

STEM major (overall) — $65,000

  • Computer and information sciences — $72,600
  • Engineering and engineering technology — $73,700
  • Biological and physical sciences, science technology, mathematics, and agricultural sciences — $50,400

Non-STEM majors (overall) — $49,500

  • General studies — $53,700
  • Social sciences — $46,700
  • Humanities — $43,100
  • Health care fields — $58,900
  • Business — $55,500
  • Education —$40,500

Job Satisfaction

High paychecks aren’t the only reward in these fields – the real reward is a high level of job satisfaction and paving the way for future generations.

Working in a STEM field requires rigorous work ethic and the ability to communicate ideas clearly, think creatively, and work with a team. To succeed, individuals who pursue STEM careers need to be dedicated, curious, organized, detail-oriented, and have good time management skills. Because innovation doesn’t stop, STEM skills will always be in demand. Couple this with the intrinsic benefits and pride that come from scientific breakthrough, and there is little argument for a career in anything but a STEM field. So, what are you waiting for?