STEM educational fields are considered to be elite. There is no denying that a degree in engineering holds more water and prestige than corresponding achievements in the fields of art or literature. This notion is corroborated by the fact that STEM jobs (or jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) pay an average wage of $85,570 annually – almost double that of non-STEM occupations. Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce has found that 47% of students with bachelor’s degrees in these coveted fields earn more than their PhD counterparts who do not hail from the same background.
The bottom-line is simple: STEM careers are not only highly respected and sought after, they also ensure lucrative pay and other perks.
STEM AND THE ECONOMY:
One of the reasons behind the gratuitous income linked to STEM jobs is the perception that science and related tech fields are difficult and complicated. Students need to be motivated to take on these disciplines as they must work harder and with more perseverance to satisfactorily handle their course loads.
However another aspect of the equation is the genuine contribution made by STEM careers to the economy of the country. Seven out of the 10 largest occupations are related to computers. And a deep understanding of computers and the art of creating programs from scratch is the desideratum of most industries and sectors at this point of time. Automation and scaling are virtually impossible without coding knowledge and even exponential technologies like 3D printing and Artificial Intelligence rely heavily on STEM to cross the bumper of unity and hit main stream markets.
Manufacturing – the lifeblood of the US and the largest contributor to the GDP needs to draw on qualified blue collar workers trained in science and technology to man the equipment on factory floors.
All in all STEM is at the heart of growth and development of the civilized world and receives due focus in the form of a rapidly expanding job base and higher pay packages.
STEM AND SKILL GAP: WHAT WILL THE FUTURE BRING?
There are 3.6 unemployed Americans for every available job in the market. In stark contrast, science, technology and manufacturing sectors boast two vacancies per qualified candidate! In short, there is a dearth of potential employees who can satisfy the increasing demand for tech-savvy workers. And if this trend escalates, there will come a time when the ‘skill gap’ will put a glass ceiling in place, restricting America’s prosperity and putting a stop to native innovation. The brain drain from Asia is gradually reversing as local governments realize the implications of exporting bright minds out of the country.
Under such circumstances the efforts of President Obama who has kick started an initiative to bring STEM and related fields back to glory are laudable. These endeavors must work out if America is to support the weight of its super-power status on the shoulders of home grown STEM masters.
Universal Polymer supports STEM and acknowledges the fact that without evangelizing science and technology to recruit future prospects sustainable economic growth is not possible.