Chances are you have heard a lot about STEM in school or other media. With so much talk about STEM and STEM-related topics, we understand your need to learn more about the field. Read on to learn more about what STEM is, the different fields, and things to consider before choosing a career in STEM. Also, learn why STEM is so important and much talked about.
What Is STEM?
STEM is a very popular acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, making up an industry that is fast gaining popularity and growth. These four fields focus on innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving. STEM is necessary for every growing economy and is a good direction to stay on top of global changes. A majority of STEM field workers use computers and other related technology to carry out their daily activities. STEM fields are now stirring the course of development and innovation of the global scene today with many more students choosing STEM majors.
The Importance Of STEM
It has been said that STEM programs are the foundation upon which economies are built and maintained. As these advances and evolutions continue, there is a growing need for people who have a mastery of and understand how these new technologies work, as well as contribute to the advancement of innovation. The unique importance of these fields cannot be over-emphasized.
Another reason why STEM is important is that the jobs are readily available and high in demand. It’s a widely reported fact that 75% of all future jobs will require STEM skills and knowledge. Unfortunately, the supply of STEM professionals does not match the budding demand. There is no doubt that universities and colleges, especially those in the United States encourage students to pursue careers in STEM fields. If you fear that you may not land a highly unlikely job. Jobs in STEM will be high in demand for several more years to come.
As mentioned above, STEM education is essential for the economic growth of many countries and keeping them competitive in the global economy. That is why many initiatives have created avenues for women and people of color to actively engage in STEM programs and enter an industry that has been predominantly occupied by white males. It is thanks to the importance of STEM that many schools are offering scholarships and grants to students that are showing interest in the field.
What Are STEM Fields?
STEM is comprised of several major fields that have all been listed below:
- Mathematics or fields requiring heavy applications of mathematical principles
- All engineering fields
- Natural, physical, and life sciences
- Computer, electronics, and disciplines related to technology
There are still a few debates regarding what fields are considered STEM. Some definitions include social sciences such as psychology and anthropology while some debate that they are in a completely different category. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement maintain that fields such as digital communication, psychology, and some social sciences are part of STEM. A field such as architecture was newly added and recognized as a STEM program by the US government sometime in 2019.
Another debate holds that some health and medical science fields be considered as STEM. Fields such as nursing, dentistry have been considered by some as STEM fields. A 2016 report on the condition of STEM assigned doctors, nurses, and dentists the designation of STEM professionals.
Why You Should Consider Majoring In a STEM Field?
There are many reasons why you should consider a career in STEM. If the budding job market isn’t a convincing argument then it would take more than the financial advantages for you to be convinced. Students are generally unsure about choosing a career path in STEM and we hope the following statements shed some light on the matter.
- You’re Good at Math
Most of the fields and jobs in STEM require adequate knowledge of mathematics and an understanding of math concepts. If math is not one of your strong points then consider a STEM field that is not math-heavy or choose a career path out of STEM.
- You Enjoy Learning New Technology
Technology is the core around which most STEM careers are built. And many in-demand STEM jobs require that workers have a mastery of technology and technological trends. Students who love working with computers, electronics, and cars will likely find a career in a STEM field very rewarding.
- You’d Prefer a Computer-Based Job
A computer-based job is simply a job that requires the active use of a computer to complete tasks and do work. If you have no problem sitting at a computer all day rather than having an active job that requires you to travel and be physically active then a STEM career is for you.
- You Want to Make Good Money
STEM jobs are generally well paid. The promise of a good life and financial stability is a given should you choose a STEM career. Since the supply of professionals doesn’t match the demand nearly enough, there is always a job available for students right out of college. A major in STEM can help you achieve all of these and more.
A student who majors in STEM can pursue various career paths. They could work for labs, the military, private businesses as well as universities. There is the chance to work up to managerial positions. It is quite common for STEM experts to own tech-related start-ups and businesses while others attend graduate school to conduct research. The Bureau of Labor Statistics identified a total of 100 unique STEM careers. Although the list doesn’t cover much, it is a good start to navigating the world of STEM. The pay for these jobs is also quite encouraging.
STEM is the future and the biggest contributor to building that future is STEM professionals. The importance of STEM cannot be overemphasized. Technology and tech-related fields have become part of human existence and show no signs of slowing down. That is our guarantee, that as the world evolves and changes, there will always be a place for STEM.