STEM provides our area with a clear and direct path to better wages, more jobs
Special to news-press.com
Aug. 6, 2011
How would you like to earn 40 percent more in wages or salary? A recent Department of Commerce study finds those with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills earned more. Not only that, but those with STEM skills were less likely to be unemployed. Unemployment for non-STEM workers was about 10 percent in 2010 in contrast to 5.3 percent for STEM workers.
Again, STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. STEM applies to the classes we take in high school, the degrees we seek in college and our career choices.
Examples of educational systems: Computer and information systems, statistics and decision science, civil engineering, biological engineering, electrical engineering, pharmacology, genetics, plant science and agronomy, ecology and physics.
Careers include: Computer programmers, computer support specialist, network and computer systems administrators, statisticians, operations research analyst, biomedical engineers, chemical engineers, drafters, biological scientists, chemists and materials scientists.
Why is STEM important? Historically, advances in science, technology, engineering and math have fostered innovation and over time innovation has improved our productivity. During the agricultural age innovations in mechanization boosted yields. This century, innovation has given us the industrial revolution and the information age. Each of these eras created new jobs for those with STEM talents. Just look at how Edison, Ford and Firestone leveraged innovation based on STEM to create their fortunes. To really get inspired about STEM, just take a tour of Edison's Botanic Research Lab or attend a meeting of the Edison Inventor's Association.
Financial perspective; we see the rotation of capital into innovative companies such as Apple and Google.
From a civic perspective, we see regions like Silicon Valley prosper, even in the tough times, because it has fostered innovative STEM companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Intel, eBay and Cisco Systems.
From a military perspective, we see how our defense department maintains superiority based on innovations such as radar, satellites, smart bombs, stealth fighters and electronic warfare. All of these are supported by STEM disciplines.
For a local perspective, as viewed from the education-jobs value chain: Dunbar High School's Academy for Technology Excellence is the first Microsoft certified high school in the world and has produced 735 certified technicians. FGCU's U.A. Whitaker College of Engineering graduated 59 new STEM professionals this year. Edison State College, Southwest Florida College, Hodges University and Rasmussen College all continue to add STEM talent to our community.
STEM talent helps Southwest Florida companies compete and grow in the global marketplace.
Chico's uses information technology professionals to support efficient operations. NeoGenomics Laboratories specializes in cutting edge diagnostics using genetics, flow cytometry and molecular diagnostics. Fox Electronics continues to be a local successful semiconductor company that competes with overseas rivals based on superior innovation, again utilizing STEM disciplines.
STEM careers support innovation. Innovation fosters higher productivity for our country, job growth for our region, and better employment for you.
undefined Kevin Barnhill is a 30-year technology veteran, has started several technical user groups and consulted to many Fortune 1000 organizations and is a past president of the Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership, SWFRTP.org. He works at Simpson Strong-Tie as a software development engineer.
Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership Inc. | P.O. Box 884 | Estero, FL 33928 | email@example.com