Education and Workforce

Can training more STEM professionals help fill the skills gap?

June 13, 2022

Yes, but it needs to start in elementary school.

With unemployment rates at low levels in the United States, employers across the country are competing for workers. For several years now employers have been raising concerns about a growing skills gap—millions of jobs unfilled in highly skilled, STEM fields. This gap will continue to grow as the number of STEM jobs available continues to grow faster than non-STEM fields.

But you don’t need a bachelor’s degree to be a STEM professional. In fact, improving STEM competency starts at the K-12 level. Improving STEM education can help increase overall STEM literacy, which helps prepare students for a variety of STEM educational and career paths. Career and technical education at the high school level not only prepares students for college and well-paying STEM careers, but also improves on-time graduation rates.

Key Takeaways

  1. 1.

    Employers estimate that millions of highly paid STEM jobs are unfilled and will likely remain unfilled.

  2. 2.

    STEM jobs are growing faster and tend to pay more than non-STEM fields, regardless of an individual’s level of education.

  3. 3.

    STEM education and training start at the K-12 level with high school CTE programs providing significant benefits.