Why aren’t you pursuing an engineering, science or math career? Your job prospects are better if you do.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in less than a decade, over a million new jobs will demand high tech skills. Sadly, these jobs will go begging and probably be shipped overseas, since US firms will be hard pressed to find qualified college grads to fill them. The problem, as many have long suspected, is that most young people in this country simply aren’t interested or passionate about science, technology, engineering and math--STEM-related fields.
A recent survey of college students pursuing STEM degrees revealed that nearly half of female students entered the STEM track to make a difference, while nearly two-thirds of male students admitted it was their interest in games or toys. Two thirds of respondents noted good salary, better job prospects and challenging work environment as their main reasons for pursuing a STEM-based career.
With fewer than 10 percent of entering college freshmen pursuing engineering, the push is on to get more young people passionate about engineering careers. To get more women into engineering, ExxonMobil recently hosted “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” sponsored by National Engineers Week.
Demonstrations run the gamut and include how the industry uses 3D technology to search for oil and natural gas; water purification experiments; bridge building with straws; and the science of manufacturing lipstick. Panel discussions with practicing engineers round out the diverse events, which take place over several months.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, students who only study algebra II in high school are significantly less likely to graduate from college. Students typically decide in the 8th grade whether or not to pursue higher-level math and science classes, which is why ExxonMobil focuses its efforts on middle school students.
If you’re in school and debating which major to pursue, consider the long-term advantages of getting a STEM-related degree. It’s not as hard as your friends say it is. And if you pursue it with passion, you will succeed.