Infographic: The Value of a STEM Education

STEM for the Ages. The value of educating students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 80 percent of the fastest growing occupations in the United States depend upon mastery of mathematics and scientific knowledge and skills, but students are not currently equipped to satisfy this growing need. On the 2009 program for international student assessment (PISA), the U.S. ranked 24th in math, and 17th in science. 75 percent of all college students are women and students of color, but they represent only 45 percent of STEM degrees earned each year. Over the past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs was 3 times greater than that of non-STEM jobs. Workers who hold STEM degrees enjoy higher earnings regardless of occupation and workers in STEM occupations are less likely to experience joblessness and command 26 percent higher wages than non-STEM workers. 99 percent of STEM school graduates enroll in college within one year of high school while 79 percent complete college in four years. Triggering students' interest in pursuing more technical fields begins in schools. There are many effective strategies for engaging students and improving their performance in STEM subjects. Even those who do not pursue work in STEM fields will need some literacy in these area in order to navigate issues such as policy, climate, health, and technology. STEM knowledge extends beyond a career; it's knowledge for life. Sources: Gill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Career Academy Support Network, Journal of Engineering Education, National Research Council, Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, President's Commission on STEM Learning Engagement, President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

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