The science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) paradox of having too many open positions that require STEM skills, but not enough qualified professionals who are applying to fill those positions remains a concern to the manufacturing sector. Many movements have been started to generate more interest in STEM, especially in female and minority students. The good news is that those efforts are beginning to pay off and giving hope to the future.
In 2012, 7.4 million employees reported working in a STEM-related field. By 2018, we could be expected to see more than 8.6 million people pursuing careers in STEM, not counting those that are self-employed.
It appears that interest in job fields that use the left side of the brain are growing. The U.S. News article "Six Things You Didn't Know About STEM Jobs and Students," discusses six interesting facts about STEM that most of us probably don't know. I really enjoyed some of things pointed out and thought I'd share them with you.
1. Interest in STEM remains lower in high school upperclassmen than in freshman and sophomores.
2. Mechanical engineering is the #1 major chosen by students who want to pursue a career in STEM.
3. American Indians have the highest interest compared to other minorities in STEM subjects and careers.
4. Females who show an interest in STEM studies choose to focus more on science education.
5. In five years, California, Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois will be the leaders in creating the most STEM jobs.
6. A bachelor's degree isn't required for every STEM job.