The number of STEM jobs – science, technology, engineering and math – has tripled since 2000 compared to the number of non-STEM jobs.
And experts say there may not be enough graduates in these areas to fill the positions.
“Look around how many times a day you touch a computer, a tablet or a phone … these industries are accelerating so much that these high school kids will have jobs that don’t even exist,” said Kenneth Hecht , the chairman of the National STEM Honor Society, a membership program that engages students from kindergarten with their careers in STEM project-based learning (NSTEM).
MINT encompasses both high-tech and long-established professions. MINT jobs in demand include, for example, those in cloud computing, computer science and other software developers who write code for the calculation. This also includes professions for actuaries, cartographers, intensive care nurses and epidemiologists.
Medical and health care jobs have boomed due to the COVID-19 pandemic due to the aging population, but traditionally, computer technology or technology has been the major that international students seek in the STEM field, according to a study by the Institute for STEM International Education .
According to the website of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs in computer and information technology will grow 11% from 2019 to 2029, “much faster than the average for all occupations”.
These professions are expected to create around 531,200 new jobs in the United States through 2029. According to BLS, jobs in the areas of cloud computing, big data and information security are in high demand.
COVID plus and minus
The recent decline in enrollments due to the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the pipeline between graduates and jobs as most international students weather the pandemic in their home countries. But young graduates who get STEM jobs show greater availability and higher salaries.
“A STEM education and a STEM career can change the path of a family and even others,” said Kenneth Hecht, director of the National MINT Honor Society, which integrates students from kindergarten into their careers in project-based STEM learning (NSTEM).
Nidhi Thaker, a Ph.D. A student in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, is also optimistic about the promising opportunities in the STEM field.
“Applying and combining a biological background with technology that can be helpful in making a product, and by the product I mean, it could be a machine, it could be a drug, it could be anything else, the medicine itself to help and help the field grow, ”is what biotechnology means to Thaker.
Her experiences around Boston, one of America’s biotech hubs and near several leading US universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, have been largely positive.
“It’s not just work, work, work. They also include team building exercises, going out and parties and the like, ”noted Thaker. “It’s a very well-rounded, cultural approach that they take to provide full benefits.”
Lack of knowledge of human nature
One problem, however, is that many graduates have technical knowledge but lack social skills, said Sahil Jain, senior enterprise architect at Adobe.
“That means they’re good at coding. You can give them a digest code, they will do very well. But they cannot speak to the customer’s management. ”
Jain explains that both soft and hard skills are necessary to succeed in emerging technology professions, but students often excel in one or the other, not both.
“That means they can speak well, but when it comes to technical details, the client brings their architects with them: ‘Oh, tell me how it works? Can you also tell me some architectural aspects? ‘ … There’s the big gap, ”he explained.
Additionally, Jain said the STEM job market is overflowing with numerous evolving technologies.
“The industry is developing strongly. It’s no longer just cloud computing based. There are many, many areas of the “blockchain”, a way of coding to increase the security of information.
“We have machine learning, we have [artificial intelligence] … ”said Jain, who recently enrolled at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a public university in Atlanta, to keep his skills up to date.
Occupy required roles
Even with initiatives to make students aware of STEM opportunities, such as NSTEM, there were an estimated 2.4 million vacancies in STEM fields in 2018, according to a study by Impact Science, a California-based teacher-founded initiative to help youngsters Getting students excited about science.
“On the education side, these numbers are well published and recognized in the world, and the question is and was, ‘What are you doing about it?’” Asked Hecht.
“If you look at the ethnic and gender differences, it would be even worse,” he added.
An April 2021 study by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) found that “The enrollment of more international undergraduate students is not crowding out US students at the average American university and is leading to an increase in the number of undergraduates awarded to the USA. Degrees in STEM subjects lead students. ”
“Every additional 10 bachelor’s degrees – across all fields of study – awarded by a college or university to international students lead to an additional 15 bachelor’s degrees in STEM subjects awarded to US students,” the study found firmly. The data suggests that U.S. students are more likely to major in STEM subjects when attending school with international students.
“In much of the United States, STEM graduates are in short supply. Students with a STEM degree generally earn more than other graduates, especially early on in their careers, ”according to the NFAP study.
“Finding that the presence of international students actually increases the number of US students with a STEM degree is another reason to encourage international students to come to the US,” said Madeline Zavodny, the study’s author.
“America’s future competitiveness depends on attracting and retaining talented international students,” said companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter with other parties in a group letter to Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) in July 2020. ICE announced it would withdraw international student visas during the COVID-19 pandemic if these students are not studying in person on campus.
ICE will not force foreign students to be on campus
The Immigration Service is pulling back on the decision that risks student visa status