There’s a lot of buzz around STEM right now, and you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. It’s true that technology and engineering jobs are on the rise, but does every student really need to learn STEM skills?
As it turns out, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education is uniquely suited to prepare students for success. Here are five reasons to focus on STEM education in 2023.
1. STEM Jobs are the Future of Our Economy
A robust STEM education is becoming more and more important to our economy. Employment in STEM occupations is projected to grow 8.8% by 2028, and healthcare occupations, which generally require a strong STEM background, are projected to grow even more. Meanwhile, non-STEM occupations will only grow 5%.
What’s more, jobs that require a STEM background are more likely to provide solid wages. STEM workers earned an average of $86,980 in 2019, according to the United States Department of Labor.
2. STEM Teaches Critical Thinking and Innovation
However, STEM education doesn’t only help students who plan to go into STEM careers. The focus on logical thought processes and problem-solving allows students to develop mental habits that will help them succeed in any field.
STEM coursework challenges students to think critically and come up with their own solutions. As a result, students who receive a quality STEM education are primed to become the next generation of innovators.
3. STEM Classes Provide Unique Opportunities for Teamwork
Teamwork is one of the most underrated and important drivers of success. Living and working in the modern world usually requires some degree of collaboration, often with a large and diverse group of people.
STEM classes often involve more team activities than other coursework. Whether students are working together on a lab investigation or collaborating on an engineering challenge, they are actively developing the interpersonal and collaboration skills they will need later on.
4. A STEM Curriculum Helps Students Develop Project Management Skills
STEM courses, especially technology and engineering courses, often involve hands-on projects. Building a simple robot, engine, or computer program often involves multiple steps that are completed over several days.
In the process of STEM education, students learn how to manage their time and break larger projects into smaller steps. That’s a skill that will help them throughout their lives, whether they are working on an office project or doing a home remodel.
5. Recent Events Have Only Made Technology Skills More Important
The current pandemic has only reinforced the importance of technology. With more people turning to Zoom, Slack, and other tools to connect with family members and coworkers, it’s even more important to equip students to use and develop technology.
Even after the pandemic is over, many people and workplaces will retain some of their new technology habits. Building a strong STEM foundation now will set students up for success in 2023 and beyond.
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