9 out of the 10 best jobs in 2014 were in STEM fields, according to rankings from the website CareerCast. “This absolutely verifies the importance of STEM careers,” saidTony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.com and JobsRated.com. Surprisingly, according to those rankings, mathematician is the number one job. In 2013, the median annual pay scale for mathematicians was $101,360. And at a projected growth rate of 23% by 2022, the field’s outlook is bright.
Rounding out the list of the best STEM jobs were careers as a computer systems analyst, statistician, and software engineer. “When you look across a range of criteria – not just salary and hiring outlook but also the work environment, physical factors and stress – [STEM] jobs are the best,” Lee said in an interview with USA Today.
However, many women are missing out on these high-paying, rewarding careers. For example, in 2011 women were employed as only 22% of software developers and 23% of mathematicians, according to the US Census. As an educator, what can you do to encourage female students to pursue a STEM career? For example, do you have a Women in STEM recruitment and retention action plan in place for your program or school?
When you bring the WomenTech Educators professional development to your location, your educators will work together in a team to develop recruitment and retention plans to help increase the number of female students in targeted STEM career pathways.
The more people you can train in your department, region, or state, the more likely you are to have significant increases in female students in your school’s STEM programs, as well as lasting institutional change. When educators take time out of their busy schedules to come together and create a Women in STEM campaign, you’ll create the community that celebrates women in STEM, and see real improvements in enrollment and retention.
It’s up to you to take the first step towards learning how a Women in STEM campaign can be implemented in your school. If you get in touch right away, we can work together to make a training happen at your school by the next semester. Don’t let any more female students miss out on an exciting, rewarding career in science, technology, engineering or math.
(Original Letter from Donna Milgram Executive Director – Institute for Women in Trades, Technology and Science)