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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Why It's a Mistake to Push All Students Into STEM Careers

For a number of years, the education industry has been creating initiatives to urge primary and secondary students to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This push was initially spurred by cries from employers that were having trouble finding enough technical talent.

STEM career fields, which include the medical sciences, tend to pay well and provide steady work, but they are not for everyone. That last statement seems like it should go without saying because it’s true for most things in life. Unfortunately, the way STEM is being promoted, it seems that parents, educators, and politicians don’t seem to understand that.

I’ve spent my entire adult life in science and technology fields as a student, researcher, supervisor, and educator. My original decision to go to college was a last minute one based mostly on the fact that I was 18, had nothing better to do, and had no discernible skills.

Why I chose to go into science is somewhat of a mystery considering I was never a good student, and even my ninth-grade algebra teacher told me not to consider a career field requiring math. However, after several changes in majors, I finally switched to physics.


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