Despite strides in recent decades toward greater equality in the workplace, women today make up just 28 percent of the workforce in technology, math, engineering, and science.
Pursuing a degree in STEM can open up a wide variety of career opportunities. But despite this, women and minorities drop out of science and math careers throughout the pipeline. This trend begins in high school and continues through college, graduate school, and beyond.
Encouraging young girls and women to follow their dreams and pursue careers in STEM is important. Whether you're the parent of a young girl who loves science, math, or technology or are a young woman yourself trying to decide what comes next, keep reading. We're breaking down a few of the benefits of pursuing a degree in STEM.
1. It's Exciting
One of the best reasons to pursue a science or tech degree is the chance to join an exciting, ever-changing field! In the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, new discoveries and advancements mean that your job will constantly change and evolve.
For girls who love problem-solving, the STEM field also offers plenty of opportunities to put their skills and knowledge to work. Whether you're developing a brand-new technology or trying to solve a science or mathematics problem, this field is a great choice for anyone who wants a career that is exciting and challenging.
With a science degree or another degree in STEM, you may also have the opportunity to travel. This may include opportunities to travel for research or to travel for conferences, classes, and more. If your young girl dreams of traveling the world or living abroad, this is also an excellent field to pursue. Engineers, scientists, and other STEM professionals are in high demand in countries around the world.
2. Scholarships are Often Available
Before launching a successful career in STEM, your child will need to earn a university degree. Depending on the career that they are hoping to pursue, they may also need to complete additional education after earning a bachelor's degree, such as a master's or even a Ph.D.
As a parent, you're no doubt looking ahead to the cost of pursuing these degrees. Even if your child isn't yet concerned with the finances of attending college, this is yet another benefit of STEM that you both should be aware of.
Students pursuing STEM degrees may see additional scholarship opportunities. Research shows that around a third of private scholarships go to STEM students. This can be a great opportunity for your child to fund their education while also pursuing a career in a field that they are passionate above.
As an added bonus, the skills and knowledge that your child will develop while pursuing a degree are often applicable in a variety of fields. Transferable skills they will develop include problem-solving, efficiency, design, and creativity.
3. It's in High Demand
One of the best things about pursuing a degree in STEM is the chance to enter a field that has a high number of job opportunities. In fact, the STEM field is expected to grow much faster than other fields in the coming years.
Between 2021 and 2031, STEM occupations are projected to grow by 10.8 percent. All other fields are expected to grow by just 4.9 percent. This adds up to great job opportunities for your young student after graduation.
If your child is in the eighth grade this year, they'll be graduating just as the STEM field reaches that projection. But with that kind of rapid growth, you can expect to see job opportunities continue to grow well after the year 2031.
4. Salary Expectations are High
Even as your child approaches high school, her future salary might not be at the top of her mind right now. As a parent, you no doubt want your child to pursue a field that will allow her to support herself, and maybe pursue other goals like traveling or owning a home in the future. A career in STEM can help with that.
Nearly all STEM occupations earn above the national average in terms of salary. The median salaries for a few of the most popular and in-demand careers in STEM are:
Computer careers: $105,300 a year
Life scientists: $66,430
Physical scientists: $82,680
Social scientists: $83,970
While these may not represent average entry-level career salaries, with career development, a degree in STEM can help you achieve a salary well above the average for most careers.
5. You Can Make a Big Impact
Perhaps the best reason to pursue a degree in STEM is the chance to make a difference in the world.
The wide range of different STEM careers means that there are a number of ways that you can use your degree to make a difference. Individuals working in technology can develop new software or devices to help people live healthier, happier lives. Scientists do everything from developing new medications to studying ways to preserve and save vital plant and animal life around the world.
Whether your daughter dreams of fighting climate change, curing diseases, or fighting back against hackers, there's a career that will allow her to do just that in the STEM field.
Helping Young Girls Pursue a Degree in STEM
Pursuing a degree in STEM can open up a wide variety of career opportunities.
Many careers in STEM offer plenty of job opportunities, as well as above-average salaries. Scholarships are often available for STEM students, which can help lessen the financial burden of attending college. A career in STEM can be exciting and challenging, and also offer the chance to make a big difference in the world.
If you have a young girl or woman in your life who loves science, math, or technology, check out our Rocket Girls package options today to purchase a gift that will help inspire her to dream big!