Knowledge of math and science key for future jobs

Here’s more evidence that kids should focus on math and science for future jobs.

Jobs in the science, technology, engineering and math fields (STEM) pay an average 26 percent more than other occupations and grew three times faster during the past decade, according to a USA Today story, which cites a Commerce Department study scheduled for release today.

From 2000 to 2010, STEM jobs grew 7.9 percent to 7.6 million — three times the rate of other fields, USA Today writes, referring to the study.

They’re expected to swell 17 percent from 2008 to 2018, compared with 9.8 percent for other jobs, USA Today reports.

The Obama administration is citing the report to push for investing in more training for the STEM occupations because many employers lament a dire shortage of highly skilled workers despite the high unemployment rate, USA Today reports.

Commerce officials say STEM skills also are vital for the U.S. to compete in a global marketplace that places a growing premium on innovation, USA Today writes.

STEM jobs include computer programmers, statisticians, civil and nuclear engineers, chemists and lab technicians, USA Today writes.

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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69 comments Add your comment

miriamallen

July 14th, 2011
7:35 am

Unemployment in construction is 21.2%, I wish these guys would tell the truth. We all need to education ourself in this tough market only way is a degree or change your career.. search online for “High Speed University” for career advice

Dapper Dan

July 14th, 2011
7:38 am

“…Here’s more evidence that kids should focus on math and science for future jobs.

Jobs in the science, technology, engineering and math fields (STEM) pay an average 26 percent more than other occupations..”

So what you’re saying is that our kids should learn that they need to chase the highest paying jobs regardless of affinity instead of living a life that satisfies them as individuals. What a tool.

Buzz G

July 14th, 2011
7:51 am

My cousin is an artist. No one will buy his work. He thinks he is owed a living and that the government (taxpayers) needs to buy his work and support him. Now that’s a tool.

Tyler Durden

July 14th, 2011
7:54 am

Is farming a science job? People can’t eat ipods.

Terry

July 14th, 2011
7:57 am

“The Obama administration is citing the report to push for investing(taxing) in more training for the STEM occupations because many employers lament a dire shortage of highly skilled workers despite the high unemployment rate”

Then what is public education for if they come out of it knowing nothing. Why waste all the money on it learning about sensitivity & diversity instead of what will get you a job when you graduate.
Liberals, they’re so stupid they can’t see the forest for the trees.

libincobb

July 14th, 2011
7:58 am

dapper: You are the “tool”, because you missed the point entirely. No one is suggesting that your kids or all kids should do anything. The article was merely pointing out the growth areas.

Rick in Grayson

July 14th, 2011
8:08 am

The federal government has created/allowed a flood of foreign nationals to enter the US on H1-B visas and take jobs in the STEM industries/career paths!

These foreign nationals have lowered the wages and destroyed the job opportunities of US citizens in STEM fields.

Many US citizens in STEM jobs actually train their foreign national replacements after their employers explain that they are being moved to “another” job. In reality, they are laid off and sent to the unemployment line!

It’s not just H1-B visa holders, Indian outsourcers are using the L-1 visa to bring foreign nationals to perform technical work on US contracts which is a violation of that visa category (which is to be used for training purposes). The US government is very lax in enforcing the regulations for all of these types of visas.

Their is no shortage of US citizens that are qualified to perform this STEM work! There is a shortage of qualified US STEM workers that will perform these jobs at wage rates appropriate for a foreign country with a much lower cost of living.

The US government is harming the job propects of US citizens and the US economy. Our politicians put the interests of foreign nationals before those of US citizens, yet we continue to vote them back into office!

The same thing is happening to low skilled jobs that are being performed by illegal aliens here in the US. Unethical employers hire illegal aliens to pad their bottom line while US citizens suffer at the unemployment line. We will soon see (we are already seeing) the consequences of politicians that don’t work in the best interests of America.

Rick in Grayson

July 14th, 2011
8:23 am

As a former chemist, I would advise most to skip the chemist/lab technican fields. I have met many, many former chemists in the IT field.

Choose chemistry as a career path only if you want to obtain a PhD in the field and do research. Even with that said, I would consider another STEM field.

Ex Blue

July 14th, 2011
8:23 am

Tech jobs? What tech jobs? I trained someone from India and Argentina to take my job. I have been looking for over 15 months. No call backs, no offers. Just in the AJC this week. Cisco is laying off 10,000 workers. IBM (India Braizil Mainland China) has laid off 10,000 Americans every year for the last 6 years (except 2010, it was 3,000 security people). So ask Obama to roll over in bed and ask IBM to stop out-sourceing and stop using H1-B’s to kill AMERICA. Oh, sorry they are in bed together.

Trevor

July 14th, 2011
8:33 am

Rick in Grayson is on-point. I live (out of state) in a neighborhood next to a large Fortune 500 high tech manufacturing plant. The neighborhood is full of foreign engineers on one year contracts. That way, the company can pay lower wages (there are lots of ways to manipulate data to show immigration they are being paid market wage); not have to pay for seniority; and can just get rid of them and not have to be charged unemployment. Yet, I have U.S. friends who are engineers in the same field, including from GA. Tech, who cannot find jobs anywhere.

A Realist

July 14th, 2011
8:38 am

No mention of H1B Visas or outsourcing? I have one classmate who has undergard and Master’s in Chemical Engineering. He’s a firefighter now. His wife is an aeronautical engineer, about to get cut when the Space Shuttle lands.

Stem jobs do pay more initially (if you can get a job), but many work long enough to train their Indian counterparts. I can’t count how many engineers I know who get laid off in their 40’s and 50’s, and never get back into the field.

With IT improvements, intellectual effort can be offshored and done for a tenth of what an American STEM worker can do, and the larger multinationals are the most likely to do just that….

Mom of Recent College Grad

July 14th, 2011
9:01 am

As the mom of a recent college grad with a degree in chemistry, it is very disconcerting to think that my daughter has spent 4 years of her life working toward her degree, only to find that after going on many, many interviews, no one is willing to hire someone without experience. She has been out of college for 15 months and is working full-time as a waitress in a restaurant. She has computer skills out of this world, worked as a lab tech while in school, is extremely dependable and is a hard worker. She has applied for office admin jobs, teaching positions including substitute teaching positions, tutoring jobs—-everything that has come her way. We have exhausted our network of friends, neighbors and family members who, thankfully, have given her leads—all to no avail. I believe that she will have to return to school to further her education and/or pursue a different career path. It is difficult to watch a former joyous 23-year-old become a depressed, sullen and cynical girl because the job market is so difficult today. To Trevor and Rick in Grayson, you guys are absolutely correct. In the meantime, we are, fortunately, able to give our daughter extra funds to help with her living expenses.

Road Scholar

July 14th, 2011
9:05 am

Some of those who can’t get jobs personalities displayed above may be the reason your not employed in the STEM fields.Before the recession, there was a shortage of engineers. Now that 30 % cuts in staffs, there are ones available, but do you think a business would cut their best? I have many friends who graduated from engineering schools that went into other fields from restaurant owner/management to teaching. Why do you think? Because that is where their interest is. Are they successful? Yes, because they are “problem solvers” who don’t let their emotions overcome sound decisions! They know how to consider the pertinent variables which matter the most. I’m not saying that they are “heartless” either.

Road Scholar

July 14th, 2011
9:07 am

Mom: Has she applied for an IT job? (not listed)

nokiddingsherlock

July 14th, 2011
9:28 am

miriamallen: your an idiot, why don’t you study english first.

Reio

July 14th, 2011
9:35 am

Nursing is wide open, and will be for years to come. Train for RN.

nokiddingsherlock

July 14th, 2011
9:40 am

reio: who wonderful, a job bathing and moving fat wads through hospital corridors. NO Thanks

nokiddingsherlock

July 14th, 2011
9:42 am

road: at least you make sense. most are not focusing on internal reasons why the get dissed. They haven’t figured out to look within to understand their short-comings

Chode McBlob

July 14th, 2011
9:42 am

Well, one thing I can tell you about Engineering is that you shouldn’t waste your life in it. I did. One lay-off after another. Engineers are disposable temp. workers.

jcatl

July 14th, 2011
9:44 am

If you have software development skills there are a TON of job opportunities in Atlanta right now paying solid wages. Get a job with a small company for whom it makes no sense to outsource, and have job stability and a minimum of corporate BS and politics.

Lisa

July 14th, 2011
9:47 am

I have a Civil Engineering degree and have found myself in the unemployment office twice since 2008. The first time I was unemployed for 10 weeks, the second 12 weeks. There are jobs out there you just have to be aggressive in your search and cast a wide net. If you don’t have a job, finding a job is your full time job!

Bob

July 14th, 2011
9:53 am

I’m sure these numbers are misleading. I agree that engineering majors are typically paid more, but science majors are not paid as much as accounting majors, for example. I wonder if the statistics also include doctors who went on to medical school after their science degree. I did a bachelor’s in chemistry and then an MBA in finance and I can tell you that finance and accounting are much easier than chemistry. Why would you want to choose a more difficult major, only to get paid less. I do agree that I science major is better than sociology.

Lisa

July 14th, 2011
9:53 am

By the way nokiddingsherlock, that should be “You’re an idiot” not your.

DW

July 14th, 2011
9:57 am

I’m sorry but I’ve been working in science for over 7 years and we get paid 26% more? I cry wolf on that. Maybe 26% more than those who work at McDonalds. There are no jobs because the government keeps cutting science funding. Frankly after the abuse I have seen I don’t blame them one bit! I’m sorry but any field dealing with computers is where you need to go, not science. I work in a field where they look at you like you’re nuts because you want a raise. We’re supposed to be working in this field because we love it not for the paycheck.

Ricardo

July 14th, 2011
10:01 am

Correct me if I am wrong, but aren’t majority of the Computer Programmer positions outsourced?

And a lot of you are also correct…we are hired to train foreign counterparts. Once they are trained, they are kept on the payroll and we are let go.

If the government really wants to help, they should place an extremely high tariff on these companies that are outsourcing… This will eliminate a lot of the outsourcing (Even though the economist say that outsourcing only accounts for 1% of the jobs)

nokiddingsherlock

July 14th, 2011
10:01 am

IMO, those who posses engineering skills are normally excellent problem solvers. That being said, most of you would probably be fantastic business owners. I’ve owned my business for 11 years after spending 10 hellish years solving other people’s problems and with very little respect. listen to road scholar, find something you like doing and would never consider as work (excluding bodily pleasures), and then try to sell it. I loved eating chicken wings since my days in Buffalo, N.Y. i now sell wings and beer and will soon die of some form of coronary disease. Anywho, do something you like and sell a lot of it.

nokiddingsherlock

July 14th, 2011
10:03 am

lisa, i know, i’m just very lazy. his comments made very little sense.

Road Scholar

July 14th, 2011
10:07 am

Some of the blogs are funny; some are tragic…because people generalize and blame others. I retired from doing full time Engineering 5 years ago after 32 years of rewarding work. I have had numerous part time and full time job offers (not bragging); I work part time in the job that meets my criteria. Maybe some should examine their criteria? And abilities!

nokiddingsherlock

July 14th, 2011
10:09 am

speaking of being lazy, if you have a business with employees, there is nothing better in the world than to watch people make you money while you stroll and smell the flowers.

nokiddingsherlock

July 14th, 2011
10:12 am

save your money, start a business.

Lynda

July 14th, 2011
10:15 am

My husband is a cancer researcher. He spends more of his time trying to get money to fund his research than he does actually doing the research. The amount of federal money spent on research(based on comparative value of dollar) has been constantly decreasing since President Clinton left office. How many Americans have been killed by terrorists compared to the number dying of cancer? Yet compare the money spent on foreign adventures in Irag, Afghanistan, and Libya to the research budget.

CS Grad

July 14th, 2011
10:20 am

Yes, a lot of programming jobs are outsourced – but there are still plenty that are not. I’m a programmer with a CS degree, and I get 2-3 calls/emails from recruiters every day (It was 10-20 per day during the height of the IT boom). There are plenty of jobs out there matching my skill set.

The problem is that many people call themselves programmers, but very few are really good at it. The salaries are higher specifically because so few people actually have the aptitude for the work. You can’t just take a few classes and expect to get a great job.

No Tech Here

July 14th, 2011
10:33 am

BS degree from top tech school and MBA with 20+ yrs of F50 computer science/programming/data analyst/management experience. Laid off 3 yrs ago (with 5,000 others) when business unit closed and went to India. Since, 500+ applications and only 3 phone interviews.

Tell me again, WHY? do I want to get a degree in Tech??

MathGeek

July 14th, 2011
10:42 am

math and science education in georgia schools? Dream on—the quality of math/science ed. in this state is laughable.

L. Adams

July 14th, 2011
10:54 am

What is outsourcing? The upper class fair skin people giving away the jobs of the fair skin middle class people to the dark skin people from other countries under a program called H-1B or some cousin program to the H-1B? You mean those other minorities (the blacks or the N******) no longer receive the blame for taking the jobs of the fair skin people? Oh wait, now those minorities are blamed for the entitlement programs.

Now they tell you – go get more STEM education and you can work your way back in. Funny huh?

Very soon, more of you will start living like some of those darker people – 2 or 3 generations in one household. Sad, sad.

Cogs

July 14th, 2011
11:07 am

“…many employers lament a dire shortage of highly skilled workers…”

Translation: We don’t want to pay to train STEM grads in methods unique to our companies, so instead we’re going to lobby Congress to turn universities into glorified trade schools that provide an endless supply of compliant worker bees.

atlmom1

July 14th, 2011
11:08 am

Outsourcing? Wow – the FIRST question I get asked is: do you require sponsorship? BECAUSE the companies do not want to deal with that. As a US citizen, I have an advantage.
As for the mom of graduate: when I got out of college, yes, I too was waiting tables. And everyone I worked with had just graduated from college as well. So I made the decision to go back to school and got a grad degree. I know it’s more competitive to go back to school now – but why is your daughter sitting around waiting for someone to give her a job? Tell her to take charge and do something (most in my family told me not to go back to school, that it was a waste of time – but it was the best thing I did).
There are plenty of jobs out there for science/math people. I get tons of calls every day. There are also computer related positions out there, my husband gets those calls daily.
Companies don’t seem to want to hire those on visas (a few years ago no one seemed to care). So I don’t know why people keep blaming others for them not being able to get a job.
It’s not like the boom was a few years ago, but there are jobs.

Bob Hope

July 14th, 2011
11:09 am

Judging by some of the comments, globalism and open borders (not just in a physical sense) have consequences for one segment of the population or the other. This is why it matters what politicians are representing you; It matters that you vote; It matters what policies you support; It matters that you actually examine the policy before you support it, not just because some politician of the moment tells you that it’s good for you.

Homer

July 14th, 2011
11:27 am

There was an article in the news a couple of weeks ago that addressed the paucity of workers that possess the technical aptitude to operate advanced design machines in a factory. They don’t need a college education to operate them but they need to be able to make calculations and think analytically.

I work for a technology company and I am astonished at the high number of Indian nationals that are working in technical support here in the States. They make good money. They also work long hours and travel extensively. A lot of American workers whine and moan about working late and on weekends. Maybe that has something to do with the displacement of American technology workers. Managers just got fed up with the whining.

Bob Hope

July 14th, 2011
11:33 am

Homer: Much of it is cultural. I’m also astonished by the willingness of people to travel thousands of miles away from home for the sake of a better opportunity. I wonder how many of those workers are in the position of supporting multiple generations under one roof? This is something that Americans historically have not had to do. Thus, perhaps it’s one reason for a lighter work ethic. Don’t know, just a thought.

edtecpro

July 14th, 2011
11:36 am

Rick is Grayson is on point. As a retired postsecondary educator I know first hand how difficult it is for adults transitioning to another field to “catch up.” Georgia’s education system is fragmented despite attempts to address federal initiatives. We have great research universities, but we must “stitched” the STEM pathway together, starting in middle school through college. To those pure science, technology, and engineering majors looking for employment……consider teaching! Once you learned the mechanics of “teaching combined with research (problem-solving in the classroom) ” success with follow.

shaggy

July 14th, 2011
11:40 am

Yeah, but the American workers are vastly superior on the knowledge of American Idol, with most able to name all of the winners, in order. Let’s see a Chinese or Indian worker do that.

They are also very proficient on hip-hop culture, neck & facial tatoo style, and celebrity lifestyles.

Does it really matter that they know practically nothing about science, math, or even their own government and history, when they can master all of that?

Ken

July 14th, 2011
11:45 am

Hey Unger,
I’m calling you out. You’ve seen the multitude of comments from educated people on this blog. Why don’t you follow this piece up with one that is actually INVESTIGATIVE that goes beyond the surface veneer and looks at the REASONS behind this. The FACT is that our borders are wide open sieves and for every foreign national that comes pouring in to take a job, out goes the financial futures for one American citizen.

There is no question that American work ethic is much less than it should be and that the sense of entitlement in our society is at an all time high.

However, with that said, you’re playing a shell game with those who actually ARE trying. Look at the educations sector, for instance. Why should I pursue a phD and do numerous post-doctoral studies to get my first low-paying assistant professorship at the age of 40, when I could earn a doctorate and teach high school science in a much more relaxed atmosphere for 75K a year? Yeah, yeah I know….eventually professors earn more money, but at what age? 50? You’ve got maybe 20 years of earning potential if you actually make it to a research institution from a post-doc that pays you enough to subsist off of Ramen noodles living in a broom closet (you don’t really need a home anyway…you’ll spend that time in the lab)…and then comes with it a 90 hour work week, the constant demand to publish, and the expectation that you behave in a subservient politically correct left-wing fashion. Is it any wonder that people have had enough and run up the white flag?

Enjoy watching India and China pass our economies in the next 25 years, since the country that owns scientific cultural capital is the one that dictates the world’s financial markets.

Soothsayer

July 14th, 2011
11:50 am

@L Adams. I ask, what the F’k does one “skin” tone or color have to do with anything. The bottom line is… the United States is a nation where greed rules. Stuff your pockets with as much cash as you can even you have to step on the next person’s throat to do it. Just make it seem like you are doing a noble thing by even allowing them opportunity for them (or collaborating with them) to halfway earn a living in the process.

So what is everyone going to do about it? We know what it is. I work in a tech field and see firsthand. Frankly, it will continue. Corporations will do whatever necessary to increase their profits for shareholders. I’m sure people don’t want to hear this but the world is changing and isn’t going back. The U.S. “way of life ” is being redefined. Geographic boundaries are only imaginary. I am really begginig to open my mind to possibly residing in another part of the world, where you life’s worth is not defined by how much money you have or how big your house is, or what kind of car you drive. I am getting way sick of the pressure of having to maintain a six figure income just to “make it”. This system you can bet is collapsing under itself, and we are seeing it unfold before our very eyes. People who “have” REALLY have; it’s tucked away already and don’t give a d@mn about you or me, doesn’t matter how “hard” I work. Everything is setup to empty my pockets of all my gains and return it right back to the big guy, through medical, dental, education, mortgage “systems” and all of that as I have experienced a great deal in just the past month.

carlo roqs

July 14th, 2011
11:57 am

@mom of a college grad, i am with you. i have a son suffering from depression due to not being able to obtain a job in his field. it is a hard thing to experience, to watch…

Beta

July 14th, 2011
12:20 pm

re: nokiddingsherlock

July 14th, 2011
10:01 am

“IMO, those who posses engineering skills are normally excellent problem solvers. ”

Not necessarily. Engineers are usually good in the specific field they studied (Electronics, Electrical Eng., Industrial Eng., Mechanical Design, etc.) I worked for many years with a company that designed and manufactured industrial machinery. They maintained a staff of around 60 engineers. Most of them did not have overall “excellent problem solving skills”. They had good or adequate skills specific to their field. IMO, people with “excellent” problem solving skills are kind of a rare find.

Toby

July 14th, 2011
12:46 pm

The US has notoriously low science knowledge; important facts, like global warming & evolution, are not understood as such by most US people. That kind of ignorance and/or stupidty has broad reaching effects & influences a lack of well-being considerably: science is awesome, it’s the only good way to find answers to anything (science is simply evidence-based rational thinking)… hopefully education in the US will increase & the nation will be more empowered to ethically progress.

Devil's Advocate

July 14th, 2011
12:59 pm

Be a business major then make the decision to pay yourself and your peers high upper management salaries while cutting full-time workers in favor of outsourced solutions!

carlosgvv

July 14th, 2011
1:28 pm

It is true that more and more jobs now demand good math and science skills and knowledge. It’s also true that most of us don’t have this kind of talent. Math and science are hard for most of us and only a relatively few people can do advanced math and science well enough to earn a living at it. It is easy enough to see the problem here but, I don’t know how to solve it.

hijk

July 14th, 2011
1:44 pm

Garbage! I have degrees in math and science and can’t land a job. Industry complains of a shortage of people with math and technical skills but there is a dissonance between their words and actions.. What they want are people with many years of experience and knowledge of specific systems.

And sadly, you can go very far so long as you look very professional in business attire regardless of ability.