May 11, 2015
What A Degree In STEM Can Do For You
If you are entering the world of higher education, either as a recent high school graduate or because you are looking to change career paths, odds are you have heard about the demand for skilled workers with a background in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and the lack of workers here in the United States with a degree in this field. In today"s blog post, we are going to look at what an education in STEM can do for you and your future.
Benefits of STEM Education
Without a doubt, college students that seek out a STEM major in college are rewarded with several benefits over their colleagues with non-STEM majors. The biggest of these "advantages" stems (see the pun there?) from the fact that, on average, STEM jobs pay more than other career paths. This is due to a number of factors, not the least of which is the lack of qualified applicants seeking jobs in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.
As you would imagine, the fewer people vying for a particular job, the higher the demand for that type of employee, resulting in a higher pay scale. In addition, since the STEM field is lacking a good worker pool, finding a job in this sector is relatively easy (if you have the education to back you up, that is) compared to other job markets.
Interestingly enough (and likely due to this worker shortage), female STEM graduates face a much smaller pay gap when compared to men. In fact, males and females tend to make roughly the same salaries in this field of work - a definite benefit for women looking for pay equality!
Finally, as time progresses and technology (as well as our understanding of the world) improves and evolves, so, too, does the need for individuals that can understand these new advances. Because of this, STEM jobs see a positive outlook for the foreseeable future and the industry as a whole is set for a job boom.
What Type of STEM Jobs Are There?
As you can imagine, there are many jobs that fall into the "STEM" category; after all, the phrase is a broad term for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. But what are some of the top or best jobs in that sector? What, exactly, should you focus on?
For starters, always start in the place that matters most: what you enjoy. If you hate your job or the work that you do, you shouldn't do it, no matter what the pay rate is. Find a path you think you would enjoy, and look at specific careers in that arena. For instance, if you like computers, look into computer programming, software developer roles, or systems analyst gigs.
Are you more into mathematics? Like to problem-solve? Do equations make you happy? Maybe being an accountant or mechanical engineer is more your strong suit. More of a people person? Psychologists and professors also fall under the STEM umbrella.
Other jobs in the STEM field include (but certainly are not limited to): Architect, Financial Manager, Epidemiologist, Mechanic, Civil Engineers, Database Architect, System Administrator, and Information Security Analyst.
All of the above jobs are expected to experience growth in the upcoming years, and all pay good salaries (better if you have a STEM-focused education). So what are you waiting for? If you are unhappy with your current job or are thinking about which path to pursue in your college future, consider a future in STEM. If the above does not convince you, consider this: without STEM workers and researchers, American innovation (arguably our greatest strength) will begin to decline, and with it, the things that make this nation great today.