The Ultimate STEM Career Guide

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The Ultimate STEM Career Guide

What is STEM?

STEM is a widely-known acronym for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It is also associated with STEM education, a curriculum that involves the interdisciplinary, hands-on approach to learning based on real-world applications. The term is generally used to encourage interest in STEM education and improve the current talent demand for skilled professionals. The acronym embodies the continuous mission to spread awareness of the skills and support needed by students and the workforce to succeed in a global market and economy.

STEM

Did you know? 

Almost 25 M people have a S&E bachelor's degree or higher. 

— NCSES

STEM

Did you know? 

The global IT industry is projected to reach $5.2 trillion in 2020.

— IDC

STEM

Did you know?

Over 135,000 open engineering jobs are projected by 2028.

— BLS

STEM

Did you know? 

Mathematical occupations will grow 28% by 2026. 

— FAS

 

Why is STEM Important?

In this age of the 4th Industrial Revolution, the boundaries surrounding the digital, physical and biological domains are blurring. Coincidentally, technology is accelerating the rate of modern advancements at an alarming speed.

Historically, it took 50 years for 50 million people to gain access to the telephone. Fast forward to 2016, the gaming app Pokémon Go reached that many users in 19 days. Undeniably, modernization begets new advancements, allowing technology to evolve faster. At the same rate, the world of STEM is exacerbated by this phenomenon and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

STEM is important because it promotes the advancement of our society. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are the cornerstones of innovation. A focus on careers within these disciplines supports the continuous need for transformation.

Now, more than ever, the core fields of STEM fuel the United States’ long-term prosperity in the global marketplace. Increasingly, youth are encouraged to pursue this burgeoning domain to ensure economic competition, sustainable development and global citizenship for the future.

In our nation, there is also a growing STEM talent gap pervading multiple industries amid an aging workforce and competitive global market that commands innovation. Despite the growing demand, the U.S. struggles to fill STEM jobs. Gender and demographic disparities alongside belief gaps all add to this dilemma.

STEM is vital to everyone, including our country, world and generations to come. Technology and science affect our daily lives, and it’s in our best interest to understand it. As a society, we must encourage STEM learning and attract professionals to this exciting and expanding field—our future depends on it.

The STEM Talent Landscape

In today’s talent landscape, there is a STEM skills crisis. Employers across various industries face a tremendous talent shortage, causing business and innovation delays. And matters are projected to continue.

The current talent gap is driven by several interrelated factors that perpetuate the demand for quality STEM professionals. These drivers include:

    • Skills: Labor needs for continuous innovation continue to rise, creating more STEM jobs. Despite the growth, there are unfilled jobs due to a shortage of available STEM professionals, creating additional business challenges.
    • Geography: Economics, policy and location domestically influence concentrations of job seekers and STEM jobs, while the national supply of resources lacks in quantity compared to STEM professionals outside the U.S.
    • Education: Current enrollment rates in post-secondary institutions fall short in producing STEM graduates alongside the widening STEM skills gap. Disinterest in STEM subjects among youth in secondary schools also perpetuates the current talent shortage.

For an in-depth perspective on each driver of the STEM talent landscape, click the button below.

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Jobs in STEM

 

Emerging STEM Careers

 

Cybersecurity

3D Printing

Fintech

Benefits of Working in STEM 

With all the buzz surrounding STEM jobs, it’s advantageous for job seekers to pursue this growing field. The world of STEM resides within the large sector of jobs encompassing the science, technology, engineering and math domains. Working in this arena has never been more attractive. Not only are STEM jobs changing our future, but they’re also highly available, in-demand, promising and compensated.

Shape our future

Many job seekers pursue meaningful work to gather a higher sense of purpose. STEM jobs help drive innovation in our modern world, and the STEM workforce plays a big part in that change. From technological advances that make medical breakthroughs to software developments that create the next big mobile app, STEM influences our world and will continue to do so for years to come.

Low unemployment

As the STEM skills gap persists, there is a growing, insatiable need for STEM professionals. With 74% of STEM college graduates not working in STEM occupations, post-secondary institutions have yet to provide enough professionals for the workforce. The talent pool is scarce for employers looking to fill STEM roles, which means jobs are in surplus for job seekers.

Suggested Reading: The STEM Talent Landscape

More career opportunities

The possibilities are endless with STEM jobs available across every industry. Have a knack for analyzing data, but also have an affinity for sports? Imagine being a data analyst for ESPN. Love coding, but also have a passion for fashion? Become an app developer for the next fashion app. In STEM, there are alternative career paths made just for you.

Higher salary

Did you know STEM roles are some of the highest paying careers? In fact, STEM jobs often lead the pack when it comes to national averages. The median annual salary of a STEM occupation is $86,980, over double the median wage of non-STEM jobs at $38,160, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If pay is a deciding factor in your job search, you might want to consider an arguably lucrative career in STEM.

Choosing a STEM career is by no means an ordinary desk job. STEM professionals have a pivotal role in creating our future and redefining our daily lives. Some undeniable perks include better job availability, higher compensation and additional career paths. The possibilities in STEM are endless, and they’re all waiting for you to take hold.

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