There’s an increasing demand for technology and engineering jobs, which is putting STEM in the spotlight.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, but it goes beyond these four disciplines. STEM encourages students to apply their knowledge in the real world and solve problems.
In my decade-long teaching career, I’ve helped students prepare for various academic tests, as well as STEM subjects.
Today, I’ll talk about all the reasons STEM education is important.
Summary of the Key Findings
- STEM education is vital for several reasons.
- A strong STEM background teaches students problem-solving skills they can use in STEM occupations and personal lives.
- There’s a high demand for people with STEM education.
1. Job Demands and Opportunities
STEM education is always evolving, and STEM jobs are growing as well.
Employment in STEM has grown 79% since 1990, and it’s expected to grow 8.8% between 2017 and 2029 .
On the other hand, non-STEM occupations are expected to grow only 5%.
Also, STEM jobs keep expanding with the advancement of technology.
Nowadays, some jobs require workers to develop technology skills, such as AI, cybersecurity, and more, which weren’t even a thing ten years ago.
One report says there are 300,000 AI researchers worldwide, but the market demand is millions .
STEM has interesting jobs. Some examples include aerospace engineers, roboticists, food scientists, astronomers, and many more.
These are all helping us understand our universe better and are shaping the future.
STEM also has more job security compared to non-STEM. As there’s an increasing demand for STEM fields, professionals are less likely to be unemployed.
Finally, STEM graduates are almost immediately employed . Moreover, people with high-quality STEM education have jobs that pay well. STEM workers earned $89,780 on average in 2020 .
It’s easy to see STEM workers will have critical roles in the 21st century.
2. STEM Teaches Teamwork
Teamwork is crucial for success in the modern world. Professionals are asked to collaborate with a large and diverse group of people.
“Each individual has unique gifts, talents, and skills. When we bring them to the table and share them for a common purpose, it can give companies a real competitive advantage.” John J. Murphy, a specialist in business transformation and author of Pulling Together: 10 Rules for High-Performance Teamwork
A STEM curriculum involves more team activities compared to non-STEM coursework.
When students are asked to work in a lab or on a project together, they actively develop communication skills and interpersonal and collaboration skills.
When working in a group, students learn that they don’t have to be experts in every discipline as they can also rely on other people’s skills.
STEM coursework challenges students to work with others, which teaches them how to solve problems and present solutions to others.
This results in an increase in productivity and profitability.
3. STEM Teaches Critical Thinking
STEM education is helpful even for students who don’t want to go into a STEM career.
STEM education develops STEM skills, such as critical thinking and logical thought processes, which can help students be successful in any work field.
Robust STEM education can prepare students to analyze, evaluate, and apply processes in problem-solving.
This means students will understand the issue and be able to solve it without relying on book-based question answers. Finally, by developing critical thinking skills, students can become innovators.
4. STEM Helps Develop Project Management Skills
When students learn STEM skills such as science, technology, engineering, and math, they have a strong STEM foundation.
STEM learning can involve hands-on projects, such as building a robot or a computer program.
The projects can last for several days, sometimes even weeks, and involve multiple steps.
They help improve media and technology literacy and cognitive skills.
STEM classes help students learn how to manage their time and break larger projects into smaller steps.
These skills will be useful later in life, both in STEM careers and their personal lives.
What Is the Advantage of Stem Education?
STEM education teaches students the real-world application of things they learn in the classroom.
STEM education can equip students with self-confidence and give them a positive attitude towards learning.
Is STEM Education Right for You?
STEM education has a wealth of advantages over traditional education.
It teaches digital literacy and helps students develop the right mindset.
STEM education also has fun classes, such as engineering courses.
Finally, there are plentiful job opportunities, and they have a higher average salary compared to non-STEM occupations.
But STEM is also a lot of work. When deciding if STEM education is right for you, consider your preferences and what occupation you’d like to be in.
If you have a chance, give it a try for some time to decide if it’s the right fit for you.
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