Every so often in the modern era, a term picks up steam and is shared all over the internet. You might have heard of the concept of STEM education but not really know what it’s about. To help remedy that, the following will explore a few things you need to know about STEM education.
Before talking about what STEM education is, it’s a good idea to understand STEM. If you’ve been wondering what does STEM stand for, you’re not alone. STEM is an acronym standing for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEM education, therefore, is education for any age surrounding these topics. Given that knowledge in these fields can lead to many high-paying jobs, some people believe that supporting STEM education can help lift people out of poverty.
At the moment, there are plenty of open STEM positions. In many cases, there are more places hiring than qualified candidates looking. This means that those who pursue STEM education are more likely than people in other areas of study to find a secure job.
In addition to there being lots of STEM career openings, these jobs tend to pay more than the national average. The average STEM job actually pays 70% more than the national average job.
Given the rate at which the world is developing, more and more jobs are requiring technical skills even if they previously didn’t. The U.S. Bureau of Statistics expects that in the next 20 years, 80% of jobs will require some degree of technical skills.
In the 90s, several studies found that women were severely underrepresented in STEM. This is no longer the case. Women earned more than the majority of STEM bachelor’s degrees in 2018 (53%), and they now make up 48% of all workers in the life sciences. This being said, within STEM fields, there is a wide discrepancy. Women share a larger degree of health-related and life science positions but are not as present in engineering and mathematics.
People who pursue STEM and are happy with their career choices are those who make a choice because of personal interest in the subjects. If money or job security is the main motivating factor, enjoyment is not as strong or as common. When people who were happy with their STEM careers were asked, most said their interest developed at an early age. Finding ways to incorporate STEM subjects into children’s daily lives in fun ways both at school and at home can help open children’s minds to the joys of STEM. Things like picking up bugs at the river, building towers out of cardboard boxes, and managing an allowance can help children develop an organic interest in STEM. Typically, forced memorization and drilling children on things like times tables reduces natural interest. The goal shouldn’t be to teach children STEM principles, data or facts but to have them interested and curious in finding out this information on their own.
The above information should have revealed to you a little bit about STEM and STEM education. It is also important that if you’re educating youth on STEM topics, you keep up-to-date on the information. These fields develop rapidly, and this means that the information you had four years ago might be obsolete or entirely incorrect by this point.