In 2011, Liana Christin Landivar found that “there were 7.2 million STEM workers aged 25 to 64, accounting for 6% of the workforce.” This may not seem like a lot, but this appears to account for strictly STEM related fields. The Brookings Institute argues that 20% of all jobs in the US require “a high level of knowledge in any one STEM field.” That’s 26 million US jobs! In the same report, the Brookings Institute notes that previous STEM studies had neglected blue collar or technical jobs, many of which require STEM knowledge. And guess what? It’s continuously growing! Since the Industrial Revolution, STEM knowledge and jobs have doubled.
According to The Pacific Standard, the tech sector’s demand for highly skilled workers will continue to grow more rapidly than others. In 2012, the employment statistics within the STEM field were far better than in any other field. For example, during the height of the recession, there were 3.6 unemployed workers for every job in the US. STEM jobs, on the other hand, only had one unemployed worker for every two unfilled jobs. Similarly, the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress found that computer science occupations alone will create 651,000 additional jobs by 2022.
Let’s take a look at everyone’s favorite social media giant: Facebook. In terms of a growing field, Mark Zuckerburg and co. definitely helped the STEM workforce grow substantially in 2011. During that year, Facebook added 182,000 new jobs, and they contributed $12.19 billion in wages and benefits to our economy. Other studies found that the Facebook App Economy added 235,644 jobs plus $15.17 billion to the US economy.
These are just some of the facts surrounding STEM and the economy. Do you work in the STEM field, or does your current occupation include STEM requirements? Tell us what you think! Be sure to follow us @thinkdatasol and @TechEd4TheDelta, our initiative to bring STEM education to the Mississippi Delta. To learn more, visit www.teched4thedelta.wordpress.com.