As technology continues to enhance the way we do just about everything, it’s no surprise that STEM education has become a top priority for businesses and educators everywhere. As much as society has changed over time, some things never change. The need for knowledgeable workers—specifically those skilled in science, technology, engineering, and math fields—continues to be a high priority in the modern job market. If you’ve been thinking about what your future will hold after graduation, now is the perfect time to consider where your interests lie and how you can incorporate STEM into your future endeavors. Whether you enjoy working with your hands or are more of an analytical thinker, there are plenty of opportunities to explore STEM fields and begin on a path towards a career in one of these areas.
What Does STEM Education Mean?
STEM education stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. STEM subjects have been the focus of many educational initiatives in the 21st century, with organizations such as the National Science Foundation promoting increased STEM education at all levels of schooling. STEM education has been the subject of numerous debates, with some arguing that the disciplines are unrelated and should not be taught together and others claiming that the subjects are interrelated and should be taught together to increase the overall quality of education. There are several main arguments for why STEM education should be taught together. First, many students are more interested in one of these disciplines than the other three. For example, a student may love biology but have no interest in engineering. By teaching all five subjects together, students who love biology can still pursue a career in that subject, while those who love engineering can still pursue that as well.
Why is STEM Education Important?
There are a ton of reasons why STEM education is necessary for the future of our society—and why you shouldn’t ignore the opportunity to pursue a STEM field. To begin with, there will be plenty of jobs available in the future for skilled workers. It’s estimated that by 2020, there will be 2 million jobs available in the U.S. alone that aren’t currently being filled. That’s a lot of open positions, and STEM professionals will be the ones serving them. STEM fields are also expected to grow much faster than other fields, meaning there will be increased demand for skilled workers. This will be especially true for computer scientists, who are expected to see a 60% increase in employment over the next decade. Managers, architects, and engineers are also expected to see an increase in demand for their work, with a predicted 36% increase in employment.
6 Reasons to not ignore STEM education
- STEM jobs are in high demand
- As mentioned above, there will be more jobs available than there are people to fill them. This is especially true for engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, and other STEM workers.
- STEM jobs are well-paid
- STEM workers are typically well-compensated for their work, with the average annual salary of computer scientists reaching $80,000 per year.
- STEM skills are useful in many different fields
- There are many fields outside of STEM that can benefit from a good understanding of how STEM works. Several professions, such as law, public service, and business management, require a high level of STEM knowledge.
- STEM fields are good for your health
- There are many health-related fields that are heavily focused on STEM principles. Health care, medical research, and epidemiology all heavily rely on STEM knowledge.
- STEM fields are interesting
- Many STEM fields are actually quite interesting, and most students are surprised to find that out. For example, biomedical engineering combines biology and engineering to create helpful medical devices.
3 Things You Should Know Before Deciding on a STEM Field
- STEM fields are broad
- There are many different STEM fields to choose from, and each covers a lot of ground. For example, biology is the scientific study of living organisms, which means it covers everything from plants to humans. This makes choosing a specific field within biology a challenge. The same is true for most other STEM fields.
- STEM fields are often interdisciplinary
- Biology, for example, often involves chemistry and physics as well. This means that if you’re interested in one field, you may want to consider another as well.
- STEM fields vary depending on your country - In the United States, biology is heavily focused on living organisms, while in other countries, it’s focused on non-living things. This means that you shouldn’t make your decision solely based on what you like. You need to make sure it’s the right fit for the country you plan on living in.
2 Tips for Students Considering STEM Fields
- If you’re interested in a specific STEM field, you should try to talk to people in that field as often as possible. Get in touch with professors and professionals working in the field and ask them about their work. This will not only help you learn more about the field, but it will also show you how to network, which is an important skill for any job.
- Try it out
- If you aren’t sure which STEM field is right for you, try them out. Many universities offer STEM-related extracurricular activities where you can get hands
-on experience in different fields. You can also look for volunteer opportunities where you can get experience with the type of work you’re interested in pursuing.
The future of our society relies on the knowledge and skill of its people. The more people who are well-educated in science and technology, the better off we’ll be. It’s important not to ignore STEM education, and it’s even more important to pursue it if you’re interested in it. STEM fields offer various opportunities and can be applied to many different disciplines. With the right skills and knowledge, you can do almost anything.