The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects overall STEM employment to grow by 28 percent between 2012 and 2022. This is faster than the 6.5-percent rate of growth projected for all occupations.
Currently, they make up more than 1 out of every 10 jobs in the United States and have wages that are approaching nearly twice the U.S. average. Ninety-three out of 100 STEM occupations had wages above the national average according to BLS. The national average wage for all STEM occupations was $87,570, nearly double the national average wage for non-STEM occupations ($45,700).
Education is Key
As you can see in the graph below, education is key to securing a career in STEM. More than 99 percent of STEM employment was in occupations that typically require some type of postsecondary education for entry, compared with 36 percent of overall employment.
Therefore, STEM teachers are critical to preparing the industry leaders of tomorrow.
How does Indiana Measure Up?
Between 2009 and 2015, Indiana had 17,320 STEM jobs and an employment change of 13.7 percent. With all this growth, it’s no surprise that STEM teachers are in high-demand. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Education, there was a teacher shortage in Indiana during the 2014-2015 academic year in the following subjects: Science (all areas), Technology Education and Mathematics.
In short, there’s room for growth. An increase in STEM teachers can boost the Indiana economy. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, higher shares of STEM employment were associated with higher wages in general. STEM occupations have some of the best opportunities for job growth in the future.
For example, in Indiana the annual mean wage in 2015 was $42,070 and the percentage of total employment in STEM was 4.9 percent, while it’s neighboring state Michigan had an annual mean wage of $46,310 and a percentage of total employment in STEM of 7.1%.
Filling the Gap
In a 2016 report from the Learning Policy Institute (LPI), Indiana ranked among the lowest in the country for teacher recruitment and retention. Nationally, it was estimated that nearly 60,000 teaching positions went unfilled for the 2015-16 school year, with data point towards an upwards trend for around 112,000 openings by 2018.
Alternative Certification Programs (ACPs), like Indiana Teachers, were created to increase the teacher supply in high-demand areas like STEM. In fact, Indiana Teachers of Tomorrow has certified more than 42,000 teachers since inception.
“Indiana has been severely affected by teacher shortages for the past few years and we are excited to be able to help school districts quickly address those shortages,” said Vernon Reaser, CEO of Teachers of Tomorrow.