In recent years, schools have been developing programs around an area of education that has been underserved, can lead to high paying jobs for students, and is vital for the United States to innovate, grow, and prosper. This kind of education puts the focus on careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, and is known as STEM.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that there are over 50 different kinds of STEM occupations like electrical engineer, architect, and chemist. The Occupational Information Network has a complete listing of all occupations in STEM disciplines.
All of these jobs require a strong academic background in math and science, so the government has pushed through additional funding to create programs that develop these skills in students.
Supporting your child in pursuing an educational path focused on STEM can pay off, as there is a high demand for individuals who pursue careers in these disciplines. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that STEM occupations will grow by 17 percent from now until 2018, compared to 9.8 percent for non-STEM occupations. These jobs will also pay between 26 percent and 40 percent more than jobs in other fields. Check with your local school district to find out what STEM programs and activities are available for your child.
Parents and caregivers play an important role in exciting their children about STEM education. How can you pique your child’s interest in science? There are many ways:
You should never force your child to enroll in something he or she doesn’t like. But it’s always a good idea to expose your child to all kind of experiences when he or she is young, so when the time comes to choose a career, your child will be more confident about his or her abilities and passions.
If you think a liberal arts education is a better fit for your child, read our companion piece on the value of a liberal arts degree.