‘STEM’, also known as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, comprise the fastest growing occupations in the United States. STEM job openings are currently growing by an incredible 17%! Compare that to all other non-STEM jobs which are growing at only 9.8%.
New Jobs Require STEM Education
While Geometry and Physics may not be your favorite things, it is important to know that most current and future jobs require a basic understanding of math, science, or both. According to the National Science Foundation,
“In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.”
STEM Jobs Pay More
STEM based jobs provide some of the most beneficial career paths, especially for those right out of college. Entry-level STEM positions average higher incomes than their non-STEM counterparts.
The average salary for an entry-level position requiring a four-year college degree is $66,123 in a STEM field and $52,299 for non-STEM fields. Also, for entry-level positions not requiring a four-year degree, that average salary for a STEM field is $47,856 and $37,424 for non-STEM fields.
This trend continues across all levels of education, including two-year degrees and master’s degrees. However, even with these financial advantages, only 34% of all four-year degrees awarded in the US in 2014 were in STEM fields.
There Are More STEM Jobs Available
A 2013 study found that for every STEM bachelor’s degree recipient there were 2.5 entry-level job openings while there were only 1.1 job postings for every non-STEM college graduate. This means that job seekers in STEM fields have more access to more job opportunities in their field of study compared to non-STEM job seekers.
With the demand for applicants outweighing the supply, companies often offer competitive salaries, as well as benefit packages, to attract the best STEM candidates. This trend in STEM job growth will continue. As reported by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the top ten fastest growing occupations between 2014 and 2024, eight are STEM careers including nursing, physical therapists, service technicians and statisticians.
Rewards in STEM Careers
Careers in STEM fields are not just financially rewarding. Working in the bio-medical field, you can be part of a team that discovers new cures for diseases or creates artificial limbs for amputees, helping them live a normal life. As an architect you can help families build their dream homes. Environmental scientists find new ways to make our planet healthier and more livable for everyone. Not only will you be financially rewarded, the intrinsic benefits of working in a STEM field, and potentially bettering the lives of millions of people, are truly immeasurable.
Receiving a STEM education can help you build a brighter future. With great job prospects, competitive salaries, and the potential to make a difference in the world, STEM careers are some of the most rewarding professions. Go STEM!
If you are looking for a school to prepare you or your child for a successful college education in a STEM area of study, then look no further than Opportunities For Learning. OFL’s independent study program and academic rigor prepare students for the responsibility of managing their own study schedule in college. College tours, financial aid and scholarship workshops, and A-G courses are available to help prepare students for post-secondary success.