Trying to decide what field to study? Or are you looking for a career change, and wondering what jobs have the best outlooks? You’ve likely heard the talk about the growing STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). STEM jobs are currently high in number, and qualified employees are in high demand.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), STEM occupations are predicted to grow faster than the average for any other occupation. If you naturally excel in the areas of math and science, or have an interest in a related field, a STEM career could be a great fit for you. Even if you do not naturally excel in these areas, if you are passionate about the field and are driven and dedicated enough, you may be able to overcome these challenges and have a successful STEM career.
Here are five reasons to consider a career in STEM:
1. It’s rewarding: Many people in the field find their STEM job to be challenging, yet equally rewarding. STEM workers feel satisfaction with the type of work they perform and in many cases are rewarded by the tangible results of their work, whether it is through some type of discovery, innovation, problem solving, or other professional achievement. Many STEM professionals find satisfaction knowing that their work helps make a difference in the world, no matter how small.
2. Job opportunities: The number of STEM job openings is steadily increasing. They make up more than one out of ten jobs in the United States. Studying for an occupation in STEM means you are likely to have an easier time finding a job.
3. High salaries: STEM occupations have wages that are nearly double the U.S. average. While not all STEM jobs have salaries higher than the national average for other occupational areas, according to the BLS, the majority do.
4. Transferable skills: While there are hundreds of different STEM occupations, the types of skills you develop while studying and working in the field are quite transferrable. The ability to solve problems, conduct research, and think critically is necessary for many occupations. Switching STEM jobs is easier if you have already proven to have these skills from another job in the field.
5. Passion for the field: Many who choose a career in STEM do so because they truly enjoy it. They are strong in their studies, enjoy being challenged, and feel rewarded by their work. Although salaries are generally high, they are often not driven solely by salary, but by their passion for doing a certain type of work and the satisfaction they feel as a result.
STEM occupations are projected to have the most job openings over the next six years according to BLS. If you’re trying to decide on a career path, STEM is a great option. Jobs are available and employers are in need of qualified people to fill their positions. If you excel in the areas of math and science, and have an interest in these areas, consider pursuing a career in STEM.
Additional information about STEM employment is available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and can be found here.
Some information used in this article came from John I. Jones, “An overview of employment and wages in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) groups,” Beyond the Numbers: Employment & Unemployment, vol. 3, no. 8 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 2014).