STEM Education Is Vital to Fill Over 2.6 Million Job Openings by 2024

amcelweeMaking the Grade: Utah works to improve its marks in STEM education Utah Business May 8, 2018News

A 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report reveals that the U.S. had nearly 8.6 million science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs as of 2015; and from 2014 to 2024, it will add more than 2.6 million STEM job openings.(1) Yet the U.S. is falling behind other industrialized nations in STEM education, ranking behind 36 other education systems in math and behind 18 others in science.(2) Monica Eaton-Cardone, an IT executive specializing in risk management and fraud prevention, advocates for a greater emphasis on STEM education in U.S. schools to better prepare students—and females in particular—for the high-growth, high-paying careers of tomorrow.

According to the BLS report, employment in STEM occupations grew by 10.5% from 2009 to 2015—more than double that of non-STEM jobs, which experienced 5.2% net growth. Between 2014 and 2024, the U.S. will need to fill over 2.6 million STEM job openings, including nearly 1.1 million computer occupations and almost 511,000 engineering roles. Furthermore, 93 out of 100 STEM occupations had wages “significantly above” the national average; the average STEM wage was $87,570, compared to an average wage of $45,700 for non-STEM occupations.(1) However, the U.S. Department of Education found that only 16% of high school seniors are proficient in math and interested in a STEM career; and of those who pursue a STEM college major, only half choose to work in a related job.(3)

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