Aug 30 2012

Using the Environment to Drive Interest in STEM [Infographic]

Focus on sustainability underscores the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

As pressure mounts to better prepare our students for increasingly competitive 21st-century careers, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

In a report delivered to Congress earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Commerce said that over a 10-year period, from 2000 to 2010, STEM jobs grew at a rate (7.9 percent) more than twice that of non-STEM jobs (2.6 percent). That’s pretty compelling evidence. But it’s hardly the whole story.

As employers and schools focus more on sustainability, teachers and students are taking note of STEM’s role in the environment.

Want a clearer picture of the importance of STEM in schools? Check out this infographic from the National Environmental Education Foundation.

Stem and the planet

Here are a few things that surprised me:

  • Close to 4 in 5 STEM students decide to study STEM in high school or earlier.
  • Only about 1 in 18 American workers is currently employed in a STEM-related job.
  • Job opportunities in environmental science are expected to grow 25 percent by 2016.
  • Jobs for environmental engineers are projected to increase 31 percent over a 10-year period that began in 2008.
  • STEM workers earn about 26 percent more than non-STEM employees, with engineers earning some of the highest average starting salaries.

What stands out to you? Tell us in the Comments section.