The value of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education is evident: our future is in its hands. STEM education creates new generations of critical thinkers, scientifically literate individuals, and driven innovators. STEM-related occupations are at the forefront of innovation and technological advancement, and consequently, these jobs are arguably the most closely bound to a country’s economic growth and sustainability. STEM education across the globe is in higher demand now than ever, and it is vital that STEM programs receive the attention and support that they deserve.
This point is bolstered by a 2011 study by Georgetown University asserting that there is a growing demand for STEM talent across a platform of all occupations and fields of study, not just the traditional or “native” STEM industries. Technological advances have called for “more skilled” members of every profession, meaning that STEM education is now often necessary for basic competency. In fact, more non-STEM occupations are seeking students who have obtained STEM skills, so the desirability of individuals with solid STEM proficiency is rapidly increasing.
Moreover, the number of STEM jobs continues to grow worldwide. It is projected that the economic share of these occupations will grow to 5 percent, creating more than a million new jobs by the year 2018 in the U.S. alone. Programs that target both the most elite and highest-performing STEM students as well as those whose talents lie less conspicuously in STEM areas are best positioned to meet this growing demand. By establishing broad-reaching solutions that foster interest in STEM occupations we support universal enrichment and advancement. If we commit to this mission, our world is certain to thank us in return.