SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING & MATHEMATICS
The world is changing fast with the globalization of communications interconnecting us all, and technological innovations are leading to more efficient and effective ways of doing things. The San Diego County economy is growing rapidly in the fields of life science and software development, which means an increase in job opportunities, and the need for talent in these fields will follow.
"The future of the economy is in STEM,” says James Brown, the executive director of the STEM Education Coalition in Washington, D.C. “That’s where the jobs of tomorrow will be.”
Employment in occupations related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022, according to the STEM Education Coalition as reported in “STEM 101: Intro to tomorrow’s jobs.” In addition, nearly all of the highest paying jobs are in the STEM fields.
Workers study the physical and natural world through observation and experimentation. Their work involves research, writing proposals and academic papers, and presenting findings.
Studies: space science, earth sciences, life sciences, chemistry and physics
Workers use science and engineering to create, troubleshoot and improve computer and information systems. Their work involves designing, testing and maintaining networks and systems to connect people and business transactions via different communication mediums.
Studies: computer and information sciences, programming, cryptography and mobile computing
Workers use math, science and technology to solve real-world problems by developing systems or creating structures, products and materials.
Studies: civil, mechanical, industrial, electrical and materials engineering
Workers use numerical, spatial and logical relationships to study and resolve problems. Their work involves analyzing data to test mathematical relationships, model the real world or draw general conclusions to make recommendations.
Studies: algebra, statistics, calculus, game theory and geometry
Education & Training
Many of these occupations require at least a bachelor’s degree, but workers can start their training in high school by taking a variety of math and science classes. For those occupations that are more technical and research based, a masters or doctoral degree may be required.
Under the Knowledge Area of Influence is the Education Indicator which measures the percent of the population with a high school diploma, bachelors degree, graduate or professional degree or the equivalent. Education has a positive influence on a variety of economic, social and psychological factors which influence the health and well-being of a population.
In addition to having the appropriate education, work experience also sets candidates apart when applying for jobs in STEM fields. For that reason, it is advised to seek out internship, volunteer and research opportunities as soon as possible. Work experience may not only help in deciding which careers to pursue, but it also teaches valuable lessons, such as --->
2. Possessing a positive attitude
3. Honesty and integrity
Under the Standard of Living Area of Influence is the Unemployment Rate Indicator which measures the percent of the total labor force ages 16 and over that is unemployed and actively seeking employment.
In addition to preparing through education and training, networking can increase job opportunities in STEM fields. Meeting people through paid, volunteer and internship positions or through participation in clubs, projects, job fairs, industry events and online discussion boards, can help increase personal connections but also the opportunity to hear about job openings in your chosen field.
Preparing for the jobs of tomorrow will require a background in STEM. As those fields continue to grow in the San Diego region, countless career paths will be available to those who are prepared.