Earning a STEM Degree Can Lead to a Blossoming Career
Source: US News
According to a new report by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economics and Statistics Administration, students who decide to pursue a degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) can see many job opportunities in the future.
The report indicates that students who decide to earn a degree in a STEM subject are also likely to see higher salaries, as the report shows that these individuals earn about 26% more than non-STEM employees.
The most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that overall, the average salary for STEM occupations was about $77,880 in 2009. However, the highest paying jobs, which included petroleum engineer and physicist, earned annual wages of $100,000 or more.
In the past 10 years, the number of STEM jobs has increased three times as fast as those in other fields, according to the Department of Commerce report. In 2010, about 7.6 million Americans, or 5.5% of all employees, were working in one of these four industries. And the expansion of STEM positions shows no signs of slowing down; throughout the next decade, the report indicates that STEM jobs will grow faster than those in any other fields.
Even when STEM positions are analyzed individually, experts still predict growth. For example, according to the BLS, the overall engineering industry is expected to expand by about 11% in the next seven years. However, certain specialties in the field, such as civil engineering and environmental engineering, will grow by more than 20% in this time period. Typically, in order to enter this industry, individuals are required to hold at least a bachelor’s degree.
The BLS reports that STEM jobs that pertain to computers – such as computer support specialist, computer software engineer and computer systems analyst – tend to be the fastest growing. However, other rapidly expanding STEM positions include those in wholesale and manufacturing, sales as well as technical and scientific products.
Arne Duncan, U.S. secretary of education, said in a statement for the U.S. Department of Commerce that students would see many advantages in deciding to pursue a degree in one of these industries.
“A STEM education is a pathway to prosperity – not just for you as an individual, but for America as a whole,” he said.
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