Why STEM education at IRCS? Job Future Author: Tracy Springman, STEM Coordinator
STEM-related fields hold the future for jobs and the U.S. economy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM jobs are projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022 (bls.gov). STEM job growth varies depending on the field with computer science and technology leading the way. Job growth is projected to increase faster than all other occupations and the wages earned are typically higher than non-STEM jobs. While many STEM jobs require a bachelor’s degree or post-graduate degree, others require an associate’s degree or certification with on-the-job training (Associates degree STEM jobs). A few examples of careers that require an associate’s degree include, chemical technicians, computer network support specialists, and mechanical drafters. Awareness of these STEM job opportunities is one of many ways the STEM Research and Communications Center (SRCC) will benefit the IRCS student.
STEM jobs require a combination of education, skills and experience to be marketable. An increase in STEM-related courses will provide the education necessary for IRCS students to take the next step on their career path. Skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and communication are also essential for marketability. Creativity when tackling job problems and a constant learning approach are necessary when making critical decisions and providing solutions for companies. Communication skills cannot be overlooked. These skills include public speaking, interpersonal communication, technical writing and the ability to explain difficult concepts simply. Since STEM jobs often involve working on teams, poor communication skills are a common source of team conflict (bls.gov). The IRCS student will have many opportunities to hone their communication and critical thinking skills as they work in groups on STEM investigations and utilize the future SRCC building.
This focus on STEM jobs has more of an impact than a student’s job and financial security. Indian Rocks Christian School desires all students to have a personal relationship with Christ and share that hope within their sphere of influence. What I am most excited about is that our students will have an opportunity to make a global impact. By partnering with missionaries our church supports, students will help solve real-world problems in the field. This, along with various partnerships in our community, will allow students to think outside themselves using their gifts and talents to serve others in a time of need. STEM jobs may also take our graduates outside the United States where they work alongside non-profit organizations that could use their STEM expertise. How incredible would it be for our graduates to use STEM skills to expand the knowledge of Christ and bring true hope to the world? Whether students become pastors, missionaries, engineers, electrical technicians or take another career path, those who are followers of Christ have a predominant profession of being His ambassadors. IRCS is dedicated to this greater profession and pray our graduates have that same mindset.
Links related to STEM jobs: