STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Careers in these fields are expected to rise in the next 10 years. Unfortunately, few American students are specializing in these majors and the ones who are planning to study in these fields are unprepared.

Advocates seek to gain more STEM subjects and programs integrated in K-12 schools. Teaching STEM subjects with real-world examples can motivate and encourage students to pursue careers in these subjects. Application of the subjects is also encouraged since many of them are connected and can help students even if they don’t pursue a career in STEM.

The subjects in STEM are not only important for careers that specialize in the field but they are still of great use. STEM subjects stress critical thinking and the knowledge learned from classes in these areas can help students in many other aspects in the workplace and in their classes that they specialize in.

STEM is especially important to California since there are over 900,000 jobs or 13 percent of the country’s overall STEM-related jobs. This is alarming since studies have shown that California students are not adequately prepared for STEM subjects.

Furthermore, there is a substantial achievement gap between African-American and Hispanic students compared with white and Asian-American students. Women are also underrepresented in STEM areas.

To engage and motivate younger students to pursue these careers, advocates have gone and given speeches and presentations to middle school students. The earlier a student has to realize their love for STEM subjects, the easier and the more time that they will have to prepare for a future in STEM.

More jobs are available now in STEM areas and it’s important to realize that the industry is expected to see an increase between 16 and 60 percent of jobs in jobs in mathematics, computer systems analysts, software development, medical scientists and biomedical engineers.

“… Leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today—especially in science, technology, engineering and math.”

—President Barack Obama, September 16, 2010

President Obama is an advocate for STEM and has proposed an increase in programs to aid schools and students that are interested in teaching and learning STEM subjects. A total of almost $200 million is proposed to go into programs to enrich STEM.

$110 million would go to the STEM Innovations Networks program that will award grants to school districts that are partners with the STEM program to help students pursuing STEM careers, as well as to motivate more students to become interested in pursuing careers in STEM.

$40 million would go STEM Teacher Pathways that will award programs that recruit, train and prepare STEM teachers for underprivileged or high-need schools.

$20 million is proposed for The National STEM Master Teacher corps program, which would get America’s best math and science teachers to become leaders for their community and motivate students to pursue and study STEM subjects.

Jobs in STEM are diverse and there are many high-salary jobs available. Careers include

  • software developers
  • market research analysts
  • industrial engineers
  • electrical engineers
  • medical scientist
  • microbiologists
  • nuclear engineers

And many more. An expanded list is available at http://www.iseek.org/careers/stemcareers