Jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are experiencing explosive growth in the United States. In fact, since 2000, STEM jobs have eclipsed non-STEM jobs in raw numbers by three times.1 This broad field—which includes a variety of high-tech and hands-on jobs—will offer immense job opportunities over the next decade. From electrical engineers to software developers, growth in these sectors often outpaces the number of graduates seeking employment. As we approach 2022, there are several key trends to keep in mind for those interested in working in STEM. While experts indicate that STEM fields are experiencing a talent shortage, information and computer technology will see the most significant job openings. Additionally, this talent gap will open more opportunities for international job seekers looking for employment in the United States as more firms look abroad to source talent.
The STEM Talent Shortage Continues
Although the current market is dealing with labor shortages across sectors, this need for candidates is especially pressing in STEM. Despite massive growth in these fields, studies by the Brookings Institution indicate that less than one-fourth of graduating high schoolers are interested in STEM careers.2 Companies desperately need STEM talent but struggle to make hires as these jobs are in such high demand. For example, research shows that the average STEM job listing for advanced industries stays online for about ten days longer than non-STEM postings.2 This gap is particularly evident in information technology and computer science, as these fields continue to outpace other industries.
The IT Revolution
While STEM as a whole is poised for massive growth over the next decade, computer and IT jobs are a significant factor behind this expansion. Several key trends are driving this explosion, including the booming digital economy and data security’s growing importance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer jobs will grow by 11.5 percent over the next decade—a whopping three times faster than average.3 That percentage translates to over five hundred thousand new jobs over the coming decade. Prominent positions in-demand include information security analysts, software developers, and computer and information research scientists. These fields are estimated to grow 31.2 percent, 21.5 percent, and 15.4 percent, respectively, indicating a plethora of job options for those interested in the computer-focused side of STEM.3
Opportunities for International Jobseekers
With such high demand for STEM workers and not enough graduates to fill these openings, many companies are increasingly looking to source STEM talent abroad. Research from the Institute of International Education (IIE) reports that more than half of all international students in the United States are involved in STEM.1 With the Optional Training Programme (OPT), some graduates have the option to work in US-based STEM jobs for up to three years post-graduation. STEM jobs are typically high-paying, which is advantageous for international workers looking to stay in the United States under the H-1B visa.1 Combined with job experience and industry connections from the OPT, STEM workers from abroad have a substantial advantage over other international jobseekers. Major tech companies recognize the immense value that international STEM workers bring to their organizations and continue to support government initiatives that help qualified jobseekers from abroad work in the US.
2022 and Beyond: The Future is STEM
Jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are poised for explosive growth next year and over the coming decades. For candidates looking for a career path, the STEM talent shortage means skills in this sector are in high demand. In particular, IT and computer-based jobs are expected to outpace the pack as the digital economy continues to expand. Jobseekers from abroad should also consider pursuing US-based careers, as companies are increasingly looking internationally to fill the talent gap.
Having the right talent is critical for STEM organizations looking to stay ahead of the competition. AllSTEM has the experience to help you find skilled science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) candidates to support your organizational goals. To find out more, visit AllSTEM at https://www.allstemconnections.com.