How to give your child a head start in math, science and beyond
(BPT) - Throughout the busy school year, many high school students across the country are already taking steps to explore college and other post-graduation opportunities. In fact, in today’s challenging economic climate and competitive job market, it has become increasingly important to begin planning for future career options at an early stage.
One area that is particularly ripe for opportunity is in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). In August, U.S. News & World Report reported that there will be a need to fill over 1.2 million STEM jobs in the U.S. by 2018. STEM careers offer lucrative and stable opportunities; for example, pharmacist jobs boast median salaries of $105,000, with a projected 25 percent job growth rate between 2010 and 2020. STEM fields are also drivers of innovation: Experts note that those working in STEM are overwhelmingly responsible for creating breakthrough inventions compared with non-STEM counterparts.
Despite the promise these career paths offer, less than one-third of eighth graders in this country are proficient in mathematics and science and fewer than 15 percent of U.S. undergraduates receive science or engineering degrees. This academic lag has resulted in the country’s STEM workforce hovering under 3 percent of the total working population.
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