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Ten Reasons to Consider a Career in the STEM Fields
Thinking about going for a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics? Now is the perfect time. STEM is a quickly growing and high paying area that is a great direction for new or graduating students to take. But is it really right for you? Check out these ten reasons why you should consider making STEM your future career.
By Laura Allan
Cross-Marketability of Skills
It's not like if you're a biologist than you can suddenly go into theoretical physics, but the basic skills you learn are useful in many different professions. By studying to follow a field in science or technology you'll be learning math, research methods, problem solving and how to fill out mountains of paperwork. Many different jobs across all fields need that, which means you're already qualified. If you decide to change jobs or have trouble finding one right away, you won't be left out in the cold.
Going into STEM isn't just a great way to get a job. It's also a way to get a high paying job. Studies have shown that 63% of people with a degree in STEM related work get paid more than someone with a bachelor's degree in anything else. More than that, 47% of people with a bachelor's degree in a STEM field make more than people with a Ph.D. in other areas. Basically, you'll be more likely to make lots of money than someone who majors in another field of study.
With this economy, you might be worried about how you're going to get a job. Are there really that many jobs available to you? The short answer is yes. There are STEM jobs in numerous different fields ranging from research assistant to physics educator. More jobs are added all the time, so you're never going to find a scarcity of positions for someone with your qualifications.
Even though there are plenty of jobs, there are still probably hundreds of people clamoring to get at them, right? Wrong. Every year 3.2 million jobs in the STEM fields go unfilled, mostly because there is no one qualified to fill them. By educating yourself and preparing to go into one of those jobs, you'll be a head above the rest who don't have what it takes to qualify.
Less of a Gender Gap
Ok, so maybe you're a woman and are worried about that huge pay gap determined by gender. This is yet another way STEM can help with your life. Studies have shown that there is a much smaller salary gap between men and women in the STEM fields. It's also got plenty of racial and gender diversity, so if you're looking for equality in the workplace then look no further.
Basic Skills Won't Get Obsolete
It's true that technology is ever progressing, but the basics stay the same. The world will still need math and still need research. Because you have a basic knowledge of the scientific method, computers, essays or report writing and much more, you'll be valuable no matter how things innovate. You'll be more ready to adapt to the changes than people who have no experience in the field at all. Even if your studies become outdated, your abilities and method of learning more will not.
All that innovation doesn't just help you get a nice paycheck. It also helps others. You have the chance to work on the cutting edge of fields like medicine, computer technology, robotics and more. If you have a humanitarian streak, what better way to show it than by gifting the world with your ability to innovate? Not to mention there's a certain thrill to discovering the new and updating the old, as well as bragging rights that go along with it.
Right now the government is making a big push to get classes funded and available for STEM students. There are more varied classes in different areas and the funding in most states is better for STEM related classes. Given that half of high school students say they're not going to go into STEM majors, you may also find that your classes are smaller, which gives you better access to professors and resources.
Everyday Critical Thinking
Being a problem solver in the classroom and at work can lead to you being a problem solver in life as well. Being trained in a STEM field can assist you in your everyday world and can even save you money. If you have a better grasp of computer engineering, maybe you won't have to take your computer to the IT guys so often. If you're a math wiz, doing your taxes might not be as big a bother. Besides, who else do your friends know that can make a potato cannon out of office supplies or a fighting robot from car parts?
There is no better reason to go into a field than this. For some people, science, math and technology are not just jobs. They're a passion. If your career is something you enjoy doing, you'll lead a happier and more productive life. You'll be one of the few who doesn't dread going to work every day and is able to brag about your job. Even if your grades weren't the best, even if your pay isn't as high as you'd like, pursuing what you love is a reward all its own.
Worried about getting a job after college? Check out these tips for building your resume!