Where are tomorrow’s hot jobs? “STEM: Good Jobs Now and for the Future,” a report by the United States Department of Commerce’s Economics and Statistics Administration, paints a rosy picture for people working in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The report shows that growth in STEM jobs has been three times greater than that of non-STEM jobs through the last 10 years. And throughout the next decade, STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17 percent, compared to 9.8 percent growth for other occupations.
The report predicts bright futures for those trained in the STEM fields. For example, when compared to their non-STEM counterparts, STEM workers earn 26 percent more on average and are less likely to experience joblessness. STEM degree holders enjoy higher earnings, regardless of their occupation. And no matter what their major, college graduates who work in a STEM job enjoy an earnings premium.
Unfortunately, many U.S. businesses have frequently voiced concerns over the supply and availability of STEM workers, according to the report. Companies operating on the forefront of technological innovation need more of them. Yet in higher education, only about a third of bachelor’s degrees earned in the U.S. are in a STEM field, compared with approximately 53 percent of first university degrees earned in China, and 63 percent of those earned in Japan.
“When China has more gifted kids than we have kids there’s going to be a problem,” says Ray Mellado, CEO, chairman of the board, Great Minds in STEM. All is not lost, however. The Obama Administration made a $206M commitment toward STEM training and related programs in the 2012 budget. (Read more.)