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Back to School: Consider a STEM Career

August 27, 2014
With school resuming for many throughout the country this week, one question that may be on a lot of students’ minds (not to mention their parents) is how to ensure their education best prepares them for a successful career down the road.

For high school and college students considering which major to choose, a new survey from PayScale, reported by the Washington Post, offers a revealing look at which majors are most (and least) likely to lead to underemployment. The survey found that graduates with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees were the least likely to be underemployed. In fact, 9 of the top 10 least underemployed majors were in a STEM field.

Biotechnology and bioscience companies are a major employer of STEM graduates. In 2012, they employed about 1.6 million Americans across more than 73,000 individual businesses. Over the past decade the industry has added nearly 111,000 new, high-paying jobs or 7.4 percent to its employment base. The industry continues its tradition of creating high-wage, family-sustaining jobs with average wages 80 percent greater than the overall private sector and growing at a faster rate.

Yet these jobs cannot be filled without a properly educated workforce. Research shows that over the next decade almost all of the 30 fastest growing job fields will require some science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) knowledge, yet people with strong science and technology backgrounds can be a scarce resource in today’s workforce. There are too few university students graduating in STEM fields to fill the positions available. For the U.S. to maintain its leadership in the STEM fields, we need to produce about one million more STEM professionals over the next decade than are currently projected.

With numbers like that, STEM fields are a great choice for students today to consider. For more information, visit