STEM Jobs: Opportunities to Sprout a Brighter Future
A recent study by the United States Department of Commerce on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs underscored the benefits of having a STEM job or a STEM degree. These workers are the innovators who create new technological advances as well as grow and stabilize in the U.S. economy. Professional, management and technical support jobs for computer science, math, engineering, and life and physical sciences all fall under this category.
In 2010, one in 18 workers in the U.S. held a STEM job, and this rate is expected to rise. Because of the bourgeoning possibilities of STEM occupations, there are many economic advantages to working in a STEM field or holding a STEM degree.
Workers for STEM jobs often have higher wages than their non-STEM counterparts. STEM workers with a bachelor’s degree on average will make $7 more per hour than those with the same credentials at a non-STEM occupation. Even workers with a STEM degree but in a non-STEM job will make 13 percent more than their non-STEM colleagues. Those who study STEM fields and obtain STEM degrees will have higher wages even if they are working in a different STEM field from the degree they have or in a non-STEM job.
The nature of STEM jobs often require advanced degrees. Sixty-eight percent of all STEM workers have at least a bachelor’s degree as compared to the 31 percent of non-STEM workers with the same credentials. While it is rare, it is possible to work in a STEM occupation while having a lower education level. Twenty-three percent of STEM workers have a college degree or less, and 9 percent have a high school diploma or less. But overall, the higher education level obtained, the easier it is to have a STEM job.
Unemployment is significantly reduced for those working in STEM fields or who have STEM degrees. In 2010, workers with STEM jobs had a 5.3 percent unemployment rate, while non-STEM workers had an almost 10 percent unemployment rate. A possible reason for this could be that STEM workers often need higher educational levels than non-STEM workers.
Even if workers do not go into a STEM field, those with STEM degrees will receive higher wages than those who don’t. The demand for STEM jobs reduces unemployment and this positive cycle of workers becoming educated, being paid higher wages and insuring job stability is established. STEM jobs offer great opportunities for young people to have a dependable career while working towards the development of our world. #