STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, is an acronym you’ve probably heard at least once over the past few years. But what exactly does it mean and why is it spending so much time in the spotlight?
We will delve deeper into each of the STEM disciplines, highlighting popular industries and careers within each category, but for now let’s take a closer look at the overall benefits of STEM:
Greater Academic Success for Students
The cool thing about STEM education is that it integrates concepts that are usually taught as separate subjects and teaches their real world relevance. Instead of being passive learners, students are involved in hands-on, project-based learning which encourages creativity, critical thinking and cognitive retention. It used to be that science and technology were thought of as self-contained topics, but that just isn’t the case anymore. Science is the building block of everything in the natural world, and technology is integrated into every aspect of our lives. Whether we’re talking about the advent of self-driving cars, virtual reality, or fingerprint technology, it’s clear that technology is shaping our lives in exciting ways and will continue to do so.
Greatest Financial Opportunity for Career-Seekers
There are many benefits to choosing a STEM-focused career. Did you know that STEM jobs pay twice as much, on average, than other jobs? And there are more job openings than there are qualified job seekers. The number of STEM jobs is expected to grow by 19% over the next decade—nearly twice the rate of non-STEM jobs!
Seven of California’s 10 fastest growing occupations are in STEM fields. There are currently more than 900,000 STEM job openings in California alone! However, not enough students graduating from California public schools are prepared to enter the STEM workforce, which means graduating students are missing out on some awesome opportunities. This is not just a California issue—less than half of U.S. high school graduates are prepared for college-level math and science.
Global Economic Advantage for the US
As the strongest nation in the world, it’s important for the United States to stay globally competitive, protect its citizens and provide them with access to the most advanced technology. Students who pursue STEM education have the chance to build a prosperous and meaningful career that will contribute to their nation’s security and overall success. The more innovative and forward-thinking we are as a country, the more we can contribute to the global economy. The world needs students of today to invest in STEM learning so they can help find creative solutions to complex global problems and improve the quality of life everywhere.