BOOST YOUR JOB SATISFACTION AND EARNING POTENTIAL WITH A CAREER IN STEM
In 2019, The Conference Board—a nonprofit business research organization—presented the results of its 2018 survey of job satisfaction in the U.S. The results showed that job satisfaction steadily increased over the last decade. Because the fields encompassing STEM are so diverse, it can be difficult to accurately assess job satisfaction among STEM professionals. However, within specific occupations, STEM employees report consistently high satisfaction. Check out THIS report from Payscale.com to quickly browse statistics for over 450 careers.
The Conference Board’s survey also revealed that one of the primary factors in job satisfaction is the potential for future growth. It is no secret that careers in STEM provide endless opportunities, but what do those opportunities really look like?
INCREASE YOUR EARNING POTENTIAL WITH A CAREER IN STEM
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that 93 out of 100 STEM jobs had salaries well above the national average. The overall average wage for STEM occupations was $87,570, almost double the average wage ($45,700) for non-STEM occupations. Interestingly, a recent study showed that one of the top 5 careers for millionaires is in the field of engineering (read more HERE).
ENJOY INCREASED JOB AVAILABILITY AND LESS COMPETITION WITH EVER-GROWING STEM INDUSTRIES
Based on information from the BLS, STEM occupations are expected to grow to over 9 million between 2012 and 2022, which is approximately 1 million new jobs compared to 2012. Also, compared to the 11% growth rate of all occupations, STEM employment is projected to grow by 13%. Since STEM jobs typically require specialized education, there are fewer qualified individuals applying for these positions. Every year, over 3 million STEM jobs go unfilled.
EASILY PIVOT YOUR CAREER WITH CROSS-MARKETABLE SKILLS
When pursuing a STEM degree, you learn basic proficiency in mathematics, problem solving, research methods, team collaboration, and more. These skills can be easily transferred across STEM disciplines and even outside of the STEM field, which means that if you decide to pivot in your career, you won’t be starting from scratch.
With many opportunities available for growth within the diverse landscape of STEM, it is essential to strategically manage your career through networking, continuing education, and mentorship.
CULTIVATE RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER STEM PROFESSIONALS
Networking can be a source of stress, however it is an essential skill to nurture. Attend conferences and other professional events to make connections. Our top tips for networking events include:
- Ask questions. Show that you are genuinely interested and listening by asking questions to clarify or expand on a topic.
- Be yourself. Try not to have a specific agenda or to be too “sales-y” when talking about yourself. If you can, bring a friend who can talk you up and boast about your achievements.
- Prepare an elevator pitch. Have a short description memorized to quickly share about yourself, your company or experience, and what you bring to the table.
PURSUE CONTINUING EDUCATION
While the rapidly evolving industries within STEM can provide innumerable career paths, changes with technology and best practices mean that it is critical for STEM professionals to pursue continuing education opportunities. Whether it is post-graduate degrees or certifications, when employers (both present and future) see your initiative in maintaining your knowledge and skill set, you become a more valuable asset to the organization.
Be proactive and follow updates in your field by subscribing to and reading related magazines or professional journals. LinkedIn also has industry-specific articles that provide updates on emerging research or technology. For new technologies, software, etc. that may be essential to your job responsibilities, consider taking an online training.
It is also important to grow in skills beyond those specific to your field of work, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership skills. These types of interpersonal skills are essential for career growth and must therefore be intentionally cultivated through continuing education. While there are formal education settings where you can learn more about business and/or management, these skills can be improved beyond the classroom. Read books on effective leadership or for quick, bite-sized education, and follow personal/professional coaches on social media.
FIND A MENTOR OR MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
Mentors can help expand your network, provide guidance and insight when you face a challenging situation, and push you to achieve your best as a professional in STEM. Some companies will provide a mentor or other advisor (beyond your immediate supervisor) during onboarding to help you in the early months of starting a new position. SHPE also offers a unique opportunity through our MentorSHPE program, which pairs students with a professional mentor.
Conference Board Survey:
STEM Earning Potential:
STEM Job Availability:
Cross-marketable STEM Skills:
Other General Info/Inspiration:
KEYWORDS: millionaire(s), career(s), job(s), high paying, salary, top earning(s), wealth, benefits, opportunity, networking, career growth, education, lifelong learning, career change(s), mentoring, STEM, job satisfaction, satisfaction, opportunity, job opportunities, continuing education, degree(s), certification(s)