Education proves valuable in countless areas of life, and STEM learning is no different. This field gives learners opportunities to test their minds, skills and artistry through various avenues. Seeking an education in STEM requires discipline and patience, and it all pays off once the career opportunities flood in.
One of the best features of STEM education is that it offers a world of possibilities. Every sector includes numerous subsets and niches, offering a specialized subject for every learner. From marine biology to civil engineering, the boundaries spread far and wide.
1. Lucrative Pay
A study by the Pew Research Center has shown that people with STEM degrees earn $11,000 more than non-STEM employees, even when they're working outside the field.
Whether one decides to pursue a STEM career after college or not, they're still guaranteed higher pay. Researchers have yet to find a solid reason for this, but it shows the value of STEM education. Jobs within this sector are well-known for their high starting wages and exponential growth.
2. Compatibility With Other Industries
Technology powers the world. Tech keeps business operations running within every industry, while engineering creates buildings, cars, computer software and more.
A STEM education doesn't mean one has to stick to jobs strictly within this field. STEM has a place in industries like cosmetics, clothing and culinary arts. It can merge with traditional art to create graphic design and video game design, and STEM-based agriculture is a viable profession.
Agricultural engineers earn a median salary of $77,110 a year, with the highest 10% of workers making $116,850.
3. Accelerated Learning Opportunities
Some colleges allow students to earn their bachelor's and master's degrees simultaneously. These programs can take five years or longer and are known as combined degrees.
Students can earn both degrees in STEM or choose their second degree in a different major. This advanced option allows individuals to boost their careers straight from college. They'll be eligible for higher-paying, more rigorous work, putting them above the competition and into the view of employers.
4. Ample Job Openings
The STEM field is rarely lacking in jobs. In many areas, there aren't enough people to fill open positions. Though the field has grown three times the rate of other sectors, there are still 2.4 million unfulfilled jobs.
Moreover, there's a noticeable absence of women, African-Americans, Latinos and other marginalized groups. More people must become aware of the advantages of this discipline to better their job prospects and display their talents.
5. Creating Innovations
STEM is far from boring — it supports the creation of exciting inventions and technologies. Even college students receive the opportunity to show off their skills at science fairs and presentations. One doesn't have to wait until they find a job to start crafting robots, software or apps.
The robotics industry enables machines to perform tasks people would've never imagined years ago. Apps and tools allow people to catch rides, order groceries and hire baby-sitters with incredible ease.
People who love working with their hands and testing their minds benefit from the rigor of STEM programs.
6. Bettering the World
These individuals do a lot to keep the world turning. Advancements from STEM workers have saved lives and provided answers to challenging problems.
Environmental scientists are continually working to find solutions for climate change, while medical researchers create new organs from 3D printers. By using technologies like SWIFT, scientists can help patients on long donor lists who are racing against time for viable transplants.
Anyone who chooses STEM can take comfort in knowing they've contributed to a worthy cause. The world would fly decades back in time without such inventions.
7. Critical Thinking Skills
STEM workers solve lengthy math equations, fix complicated coding issues and rewire intricate electrical systems. This field requires and fosters excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Students must be able to think beyond classroom examples and apply what they learn to real situations. Honing their analytical and reasoning abilities enables them to handle situations as they come, no matter how advanced they are.
STEM Benefits Every Individual
Companies are continually looking for skilled and disciplined workers to fill positions. Individuals enter the workforce with an advantage by seeking a STEM education.
Possibly the most significant factor of all is that people join the field because of their love for it. Putting their learning first helps them improve the entire world.
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Kayla Matthews is a robotics and EdTech writer whose work has appeared on The Robot Report, Information Age, Learning Liftoff and Robotics Business Review. To read more from Kayla, please visit her tech blog.