You’ve most likely heard about or stumbled on information concerning STEM. Students who have a good mastery of Science and Math subjects pursue the STEM program.
More so, STEM is an educational strand that’s placed in schools’ curricula, especially in secondary schools, specifically taken by students who intend to study science-related courses in the university.
Furthermore, a good foundation in STEM is seen as proper preparation for those who want to pursue careers in engineering, scientific research, medicine, academia, or computer science.
As a powerful concept, STEM is essential to future development— for children, diversity, the workforce, and the economy, among other areas.
That’s why over the years, STEM education has acquired hundreds of millions of dollars in support from the U.S. government and remains one of the substantial priorities at all levels of the educational system.
But what does STEM stand for? and why is it so important? Here’s all you need to know and how you can help.
What is STEM?
STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These four fields share an emphasis on innovation, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
Also, it refers to the strand within the academic system that focuses on teaching skills and subjects in a way that resembles real life.
Through STEM education, students gain knowledge and harness skills that can be applied to solve real-world problems.
In many developed countries, STEM fields are highly competitive as few qualified students are getting admitted each year. Recent developments show that these types of skills are in high demand.
Individuals interested in STEM-related courses are subjected to a series of tests. This is done to determine the aptitude of students who have indicated an interest in STEM-related courses.
Additionally, a minimum grade standard must be attained and maintained as well to ensure continuity in the education program.
You Should Read: STEM Careers List For Students. History, Jobs, and Colleges.
Why is STEM Important?
In recent times, we have witnessed technological advancements in our society. With such improvements, there is a high demand for professionals who understand how these technologies operate and also proffer solutions to real-life problems.
As the backbone of civilization, Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are the foundations of our technological community.
Without proper technical knowledge and skills in various industries, the economy will decline and society’s progress will retrogress. Food production, Transportation, communication, and power generation are all dependent on advanced technology for large-scale operations.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calls STEM careers “tomorrow’s jobs,” emphasizing the importance of these unique industries.
Also, logical thinking and numerical reasoning are fundamental skills that are not only applied to technical problems but also in our daily activities– like grocery shopping, taking a cab, or even cooking.
This shows how skills acquired from they use STEM educational programs down to menial tasks.
Recent findings show that STEM jobs are in high demand, and they project many to stay in demand for several years.
However, STEM professionals are in short supply, which is why so many colleges — as well as the U.S. government — are imploring students to study STEM.
The Trump administration 2019 invested $578 million in STEM education. Recently, President Biden’s 2022 education budget promises to prioritize STEM.
Ensuring students have access to a quality STEM education is crucial to keeping the U.S. competitive in the global market.
Also, they actively encourage all students to study STEM through statewide initiatives, many of which encourage women and people of color to enter the predominantly white, male industry.
Many schools also offer incentives to students studying STEM through scholarships and partnerships with cities and states.
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What Is a STEM Major?
A STEM major is simply any major in a recognized STEM field. You should note that colleges may have unique definitions of what areas of study constitute a STEM major.
Most undergraduate STEM educational programs end in a Bachelor of Science degree, although others may lead to a bachelor of applied science, engineering, or architecture.
STEM students normally take many of the same courses in fields like chemistry, calculus, statistics, and engineering, regardless of their major.
Also, STEM degrees are some of the most rigorous majors in terms of the number of time students spent completing assignments and preparing for class each week.
Here are some examples of popular STEM majors:
- Computer science
- Information technology
- Mechanical engineering
- Software engineering
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What Are Some Popular STEM Careers?
STEM majors can pursue an array of paths, with many choosing to work for private firms, non-profit organizations, labs, universities, and the military. Also, some STEM majors work their way up to managerial positions, while others attend graduate school to conduct research.
The BLS has identified 100 unique STEM careers, though this is not an exhaustive list.
Some examples of STEM careers are:
Scientist: Experts and science researchers in cutting-edge technology like Nanotech and Quantum computing can also emerge from STEM programs.
Academicians: This includes Math professors, academic tutors, and science researchers amongst others.
Data Analyst: Depending on their experience and expertise, data analysts cab provide insight into large data.
Engineers: From Chemical to civil engineers, this role builds machinery and structures necessary for major activities such as manufacturing, energy generation, Communication, and transportation.
Programmers and Software developers:
These careers are concerned with developing computer applications, gaming software, and improving computer systems.
Why should I Consider Majoring in a STEM Field?
Many students are unsure whether STEM is the best choice for them. Use the following statements to help you deduce whether STEM could be an appropriate path for you
- You’re Good at Mathematics
Many STEM jobs requires a solid understanding of high-level math concepts. If you’re not a fan of math or struggle with making accurate calculations, a non-STEM job — or a STEM career that’s not math-related — may work better for you.
- You Enjoy Learning New Technology
Technology is at the heart of many in-demand jobs. Those who love working with different technology and machines, such as computers, cars, and electronics, heavy machinery will likely find a STEM career extremely rewarding.
- You’d Prefer a Computer-Based Job
Some people want active jobs that require them to speak with others, move around, travel, and use their bodies. If you’d rather have a less social and physically demanding job — and you have no problem sitting at a computer all day — a STEM job could be an ideal fit.
- You Want to Make Good Money
Many STEM jobs promise high salaries. If you’re hoping to make a substantial income straight out of college and down the line, a STEM major can help you achieve that goal.
STEM is necessary for growing the economy and staying globally competitive. With the constant technological developments, individuals may diversify in the field of science, technology, engineering, and Mathematics.
Companies need to have top talent to stay on top of the competition in their industries. And this pushes them to employ talent that will help them stay relevant now and in the future.
They need to have the best research and development teams, financial advisors, engineers, web and app developers, and designers. Companies are now investing in STEM education programs all over the globe in hopes that they will be able to nurture the next generation of innovators.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics: studying the STEM disciplines in schools can help kids build confidence, hone critical thinking and problem solving, and develop soft skills that will be essential to them in their adult lives
STEM comprises the following major areas of study: natural, physical, and life sciences (sometimes including medicine, sometimes not); computer, electronics, and other technology-related disciplines; all types of engineering; and mathematics, or any field involving a heavy application of mathematical principles.
Many debates whether certain fields count as STEM. Some STEM definitions include the social sciences, such as psychology, economics, and anthropology. Most sources, however, consider these separate categories.
- bestcolleges.com – What Is STEM and Why Is It Important?
- www.utep.edu – What Is STEM Education.
- www.reagent.co.uk – What Is STEM Education and Why Is It Important?
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