Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) represent some of the fastest growing—and highest-paid—job sectors. But to prepare students for the changing workforce, young people need to learn more than technical skills. They need to develop the creativity, ingenuity and empathy that comes from the study of music, theater, language and fine arts. Today, educators recognize that a well-rounded curriculum that includes Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math (STEAM) is the best way to prepare students for success in the modern economy.

The arts help to spark creativity within STEM disciplines and are a great way for people to combine their love of arts with a background in the sciences.

Industries Poised for Significant Growth

STEM jobs are projected to grow 13%.

Between 2017 and 2027, the number of STEM jobs will grow 13 percent, compared to 9 percent for non-STEM jobs—with positions in computing, engineering, and advanced manufacturing leading the way. (Via the Education Commission of the States)

Specifically, employment in computer and IT occupations is projected to grow 11%.

From 2019 to 2029, employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 11%. This is said to be “much faster” than the average for all occupations. (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Employment in STEM occupations has grown 79% since 1990.

Overall, since 1990, employment in STEM occupations has grown 79%—increasing from 9.7 million to 17.3 million. (Via a 2018 article from Pew Research Center)

The average median hourly wage for STEM jobs is $38.85.

Compared to the median earnings for all other types of jobs in the US – $19.30 – STEM-related jobs pay exceptionally well. (Via the Education Commission of the States)

The median annual wage of STEM occupations in 2019 was $86,980.

This is well over double of that of non-STEM occupations, where the median annual wage came in at $38,160. (Via the Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The U.S. placed 38th of 71 countries in math, and 24th in science.

This is according to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)—which is regarded as one of the biggest cross-national tests of its kind. (Via the Pew Research Center; Pew also published these 7 facts about the STEM workforce on 1/9/18)

U.S. universities are expected to produce only 29% of the required number of grads.

That is, to fill the 1.4 million computer specialist job openings projected to be available in 2020. (Projected by the US Department of Labor and referenced by the White House back in 2013.)

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