By: Scott Rhodes
Our future is full of crazy inventions, from robots and virtual reality to driverless cars and drones. This trend is due, in part, to individuals with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math, otherwise known as STEM majors. This tech revolution is showing no signs of slowing down, which means there’s a great opportunity for students looking to have a direct impact on the future landscape. Here are three reasons to consider a STEM education:
With a background in STEM, students will have the qualifications and experience needed to work in many diverse, rapidly growing fields. Make no mistake; you will not be limited to a career in engineering. A technical degree is the strong foundation you need to excel in areas like medicine, finance, software, and IT. Additionally, because a STEM education provides a thorough and holistic study, students often become entrepreneurs.
The demand for technology savvy individuals is also increasing at a rapid rate, making it difficult for the current supply to keep up. As companies develop new products and naturally acquire an abundance of big data, they are recognizing the need for someone to make sense of it all. In turn, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that careers related to STEM will increase by more than 9 million by 2022. This gap creates room for students to not only land jobs after graduation, but to forge a career with significant growth potential.
Along with the high availability of jobs, the STEM fields often boast a high average salary. For entry-level jobs, the average starting salary is trending at $66,000. The salary for careers in big data analytics is even higher at over $100,000, and expected to increase in 2017. Compared to non-STEM graduates, students with degrees in fields like logistics, computer science, engineering, or big data analytics will earn $400,000 more over the course of their lifetime.
While the core of a STEM education is a technical curriculum, students will be forced to flex their problem-solving muscles as related to everyday tasks. To avoid the computerization of jobs, a thorough STEM program will provide students hands-on challenges, like product conceptualization and creation, which promote creativity and social skills. Many of the nation’s top engineering colleges require STEM students to take classes in public speaking and humanities, as well.
Over the past 10 years, the tech industry has proved not only its staying power and adaptability to societal changes, but its continual growth. There is no shortage of innovative products on the market, and the trend will continue for the foreseeable future. For students wanting a career in a profitable and promising field, a STEM education is the first course of action.
With an 18-year background in higher education, Scott Rhodes leads enrollment and recruitment strategies for Florida Polytechnic University. His responsibilities encompass undergraduate admissions, graduate enrollment and enrollment marketing, financial aid, student records and registration, and enrollment market research.