3 Surprising Ways STEM Redefined The Workforce

3 Surprising Ways STEM Redefined The Workforce

The Value of STEM Careers

Varying in scope across different educational institutions, STEM pertains to a group of academic disciplines, namely, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, hence the acronym. It varies in the sense that the Science segment of the cluster does not necessarily specify which sciences are included. For instance, in the United States, the government’s administrative departments like the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security endorse the curriculum, strongly suggesting the inclusion of Political Science and Sociology. Meanwhile in the United Kingdom, the Social Sciences are clustered separately with the Humanities.

Pointing out these notable differences is especially important when assessing STEM’s impact in the workforce, given that the disciplines’ prevalence in certain career paths determine the curriculum’s value.

But what’s clear is that STEM education is one that is not confined within the four corners of the classroom. It provides skills sets that are originally intended for the ease of employment even without the benefit of tertiary education. Suffice it to say, the goal of STEM’s creation is for learning that prepares students for real-world problems. 

At The Helm of Change

Collaboration is at the forefront of STEM education. Professionals who have been groomed under the program are expected to join forces in addressing issues and concerns regarding technology and governance with solutions geared at both local and national levels. Simply put, STEM is not just about perfecting the Scientific Method, acquiring impressive Math skills, or being taught how to build interactive websites.

The dynamics between professional encourage teamwork that serves the purpose of greater professional satisfaction and productivity. When brought to the highest ideal, the teamwork fostered by STEM propels the nation to wide-scale change through the understanding of values, one that unifies professionals under a single purpose: the improvement of the quality of human life towards achieving man’s highest potential.

These are bold claims, true. But they are valid nonetheless. Otherwise STEM would not been given attention through its promotion in different curricula. Suffice it to say, STEM is given great value by industries. Its impact cannot be simply overlooked when we are scrutinizing the workforce on which its graduates would be deployed.

STEM’s Impact On the Workforce

If we are to look at the U.S. workforce back in 2019, we would find that STEM represented 23% of its total. What’s notable in the current statistics is that the unemployment rate is low in the STEM labor force, clocking in only 2% as opposed to the 4% that had been lodged by its non-STEM counterpart. This strongly suggests that the STEM have opened avenues for further employment across various disciplines related to the strand. In the succeeding discussion, an assessment of STEM’s strand impact and how it redefined the workforce. 

  1. Non-Degree Holders May Assume Notable Posts

In a report published by the National Science Board from the year 2021 to the current year, it looked back to 2019 with respect to the expanded definition of the STEM workforce. It included workers who have not attained bachelors degrees and are working in S&E, S&E-related, and middle-skill occupations. The sector reached an approximate of 36 million workers. 

If we are to look at the percentage of individuals who completed tertiary education against those who have not, we’ll find that 55% of STEM taxonomy have not finished Bachelor’s degrees, while only 45% of them have. In an article published by online newsroom, Tennesean, the number of non-degree holders assuming a STEM-related job had climbed to 62% in 2020.

What this telegraphs is that the STEM strand had given non-degree holders the chance to assume positions that serve not only themselves but the industries they work in.

  1. The Participation of More Women 

The STEM strand had filled the gender gap in the workforce in that it fostered the greater participation of women in the posts related to its disciplines. 

As the strand promotes more interesting careers, it is also becoming more conscious to the progressive clamor for more jobs for women relating to the sciences and mathematics. While the Computer, Mathematical, Engineering, and Architecture careers have yet to catch up, the Biological Sciences and the Chemical and Material Sciences have recorded notable figures. According to the statistics released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2020, Biological Scientists who are women have been recorded at 46% while Chemists and Material Scientists lodged 40.4%. 

  1. “Job Embeddedness”

Defined as the sum of influences that keep individuals in an organization, Job Embeddedness is something that STEM careers have been seeking to foster and have been making considerable successes in its name. 

An article published by Futurumcareers.com strongly suggest that organizational and community factors play a role in Job Embeddedness in STEM careers. This is owed to the benefits that these jobs can provide for the workers’ families as they work. 

The contention is important as it serves to get a pulse of how it can ultimately benefit the country and the society.

The Takeaway

It could not be stressed any further that STEM education have been beneficial to the workforce. This is in light of the employment and income streams it had created for individuals who may or may not have finished tertiary education and the equality that it pursues. These, in turn, have turned otherwise idle hands into actual agents of change.

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