STEM opportunities abound

STEM Opportunities Across Economy

A recent article came across our news-feed warning that we might be setting up a dead end for students in STEM because wage premiums in STEM are short lived. Our analysis, however, reached completely different conclusions.  Far from being a dead-end, STEM is a gateway for opportunities throughout our economy.

Is there a STEM Shortage?

  • Many prominent studies have sounded the alarm that we are under-producing STEM talent. Research noted that we graduated about 271,000 Bachelor’s degrees in STEM on an annual basis for on average, 277,000 job vacancies annually in STEM fields at all education levels.
  • However, (good news) – the market for STEM competencies far exceeds STEM occupations. STEM workers have a wide range of STEM competencies, skills, and talent that are desired throughout the economy.
  • Rising wages for STEM workers are a result of competition for those students whose STEM competencies are in demand in STEM occupations and non-STEM occupations.
  • The opportunities for STEM abound.

STEM Skill Sets Elaborated

What are the benefits of a liberal arts education:

  • ability to communicate more effectively,
  • improved critical thinking,
  • become well rounded, and
  • gaining interpersonal skills.

I invite readers to review the core skills of STEM occupations. Is there not merit there too?



  • Using mathematics to solve problems.
  •  Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Active Learning
  • Understanding the implications of new information for problem solving and decision making
Complex Problem Solving
  • Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Operations Analysis
  • Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Technology Design
  • Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
Equipment Selection
  • Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
  • Writing computer programs for various purposes.
Quality Control Analysis
  • Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Operations Monitoring
  • Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control
  • Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Equipment Maintenance
  • Performing routine maintenance on equipment
  • Determining when maintenance is needed
  • Assessing what kind of maintenance is required..
  • Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Systems Analysis
  • ·Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Systems Evaluation
  • Identifying measures or indicators of system performance
  • Determining  the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.


STEM vs Liberal Arts Education

We were asked to do ourselves a favor. “Step away from computer screens occasionally to dip into fields like history, literature, philosophy, art, and the principles of business management and effective interpersonal relationships — in short, the liberal arts.”

Nothing wrong with that. If Steve Jobs had not studied calligraphy would he have been the force of design resulting in Macs and Ipods. .


Our crusade is to make sure that students do not give up on STEM for the wrong reasons.

  • Why is it that only 25% of top math quartile high school students start with a STEM major in college?
  • Why do only half of all students who start in a STEM major graduate with one.

There are no easy answers. However, there is a need for improving STEM outcomes.. The opportunities for STEM are boundless.