STEM Professionals in Higher Ed Webinar
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations some of the fastest-growing careers. The BLS projects that 9 million jobs STEM jobs will be created between 2012 and 2022. STEM jobs are some of the highest paying as well, with a median annual wage of $76,000. That’s double the average for many other jobs, making careers in these fields highly competitive.
A degree in higher education is essential to be able to compete for emerging STEM careers.
While individuals may not need a college degree for some jobs, like computer support specialists or web developers, most STEM jobs require a bachelor’s degree at minimum. Many STEM students will choose to continue their education to pursue master’s and doctoral degrees. These advanced degrees allow them to explore a particular field of study in-depth and develop expertise in that field’s narrow aspect.
Preparing students for jobs in these fields can be challenging.
High school students don’t have to wait for college to pursue STEM studies. Many young people discover their interest in STEM by taking part in everyday educational activities both at home and in the classroom. Raising a plant, reading books, and playing outside can foster a love of horticulture, mechanics, and ecology. Actively engaging deaf and hard of hearing students or children in STEM-based curricula can lead to a bright career in a growing field.
Don’t take it from us; take it from the three deaf STEMists in CSD Learns’ webinar series on Best Practices in STEM Higher Education! These scientists share what drew them to STEM, who inspired them, and how they’ve navigated higher education settings as students and professionals. Catch a recap in the video below.
Here are three main takeaways you should know:
Passion, drive, and curiosity are key to success.
STEM education is exceptionally rigorous. However, some fields are more challenging than others. STEM learning is best when one’s studies align with their passions. For instance, an interest in dogs could lead to an interest in biology. While learning about biology, a student may discover an interest in anatomy, leading to a career in Veterinary Sciences. Consider urging them to reflect on their favorite pastimes or introduce them to new subject matter. Whichever the case, there is always something that will spark their curiosity. Also, always, encourage them to ask questions and do your best to answer as many as you can!
The family is the first role model for STEM learning.
Family members can have a massive impact on students’ educational interests. Encouraging young students to go outside, read books, and ask questions can help them develop scientific mindsets early on. Never underestimate the value of spending time with young students to discover what they are curious about and answering questions. And if you don’t know, push them to find the answers for themselves.
Higher education is an important step in one’s STEM journey.
Since most of STEM jobs require a bachelor’s degree, preparing students for college is essential. It is important to emphasize that students don’t need to have their careers and interests all planned out. College is an excellent opportunity for students to explore the vast array of STEM disciplines. They may discover an interest in a completely different subject matter altogether. And that’s okay! Discovering their passion while in higher education can lead them to pursue ongoing studies in advanced STEM disciplines and grow our pool of engineers, researchers, medical professionals, computer scientists, farmers, statisticians, and more!
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