From an affinity for social media to a near friendship with smart devices, our students are immersed in a world built by people who work in science, technology, engineering, and math. But our students don’t always recognize the connection between their daily lives and STEM innovations, and may not be aware of the long STEM careers list that will be available to them in the future.

Since many students form their career goals and grow into their interests by age 14, middle school is a critical time to expose students to unique and unexpected STEM jobs. Studies have shown that students who are interested in STEM careers at the beginning of high school are much more likely to continue to show interest at the end of high school. Educating students about available careers, salary expectations, and education paths sooner increases the likelihood that students will choose to take STEM-focused courses in high school.

As you are exploring these topics with your students, here’s a great place to start: Education Week looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on six STEM career fields to evaluate staffing needs, salaries, and the level of education required. Below are a few in-demand STEM careers that may pique your students’ interest.

Electrical Engineer

Projected workers in 2026 (thousands) 204.5

2016 Median annual wage $94,210

Required education Bachelor’s degree

 

Computer Programmer

Projected workers in 2026 (thousands) 273.6

2016 Median annual wage $79,840

Required education Bachelor’s degree

 

Mechanical Engineer

Projected workers in 2026 (thousands) 314.1

2016 Median annual wage $84,190

Required education Bachelor’s degree

 

Software Developer

Projected workers in 2026 (thousands) 1,086.6

2016 Median annual wage $100,080

Required education Bachelor’s degree

 

Computer User Support Specialist

Projected workers in 2026 (thousands) 708.7

2016 Median annual wage $43,390

Required education Some college

 

Chemist

Projected workers in 2026 (thousands) 94

2016 Median annual wage $74,740

Required education Bachelor’s degree

 

How we can expose our students to careers in STEM in a relevant and engaging way? Endeavor (grades 6-9) is an online STEM career resource available at no cost to educators. In Endeavor’s lessons, students take on fun challenges within the world of STEM, and along the way explore big data and the internet of things, the future of manufacturing and design, and the algorithms behind recommendations. As students learn about different careers in STEM, they save career cards to create a portfolio highlighting their own interests.


Diana Bravo is a K-12 Schools Manager based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She helps teachers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa to implement EVERFI’s digital learning programs. Prior to joining EVERFI, she was a curriculum coordinator and a third-grade teacher at the American School in Quito, Ecuador.

 

Real World Learning Matters

EVERFI empowers teachers to bring critical skills education into their classrooms at no cost. Get activated and join 50,000+ educators across North America!