Today, STEM-based learning is opening doors like never before for students—the creative problem-solving skills and knowledge they develop are increasingly in demand.
Perhaps surprisingly, over time we’re seeing that there’s a place for STEM skills outside of the standard career trajectory that begins with a university education—today there are also many opportunities for students who are drawn to always-in-demand skilled trades as well.
Unfortunately, many aren’t yet aware of the connection between STEM and skilled trades.
Simply put, most skilled trades demand strong STEM expertise. As outlined in the 2012 Spotlight on Science Learning report, the skilled trades continue to be in the top 10 projected talent gaps. Yet, most young people are not aware of the importance of science, technology and math learning needed for proficiency in many skilled trades.
In 2011, fewer young adults, ages 25 to 34, held a trades certificate than in the 55 to 64 year age group. To economic forecasters and industry experts, this suggests a growing labour shortage.
Work is needed to confront negative social perceptions that exist related to trades, especially given the strong potential they offer for meaningful employment. Clearer information about pathways through college and the skilled trades that are dependent upon STEM learning would help showcase the diverse employment opportunities, good wages and potential for career advancement.
Source: Spotlight on Science Learning: The High Cost of Dropping Science and Math