Why STEM? Why Engineering?

According to the National Science Foundation “In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.”
STEM occupations are growing at 17%, while other occupations are growing at 9.8% as reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Specifically, Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Mechanical and Environmental Engineering are projected to increase 5.6% in occupations by 2024. Professionals in Engineering and STEM in general are continually in demand and have higher incomes even in non-STEM careers. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics workforce plays a central role in the continued growth and strength of the U.S. economy, and are a key component to abetting the U.S. future world leadership.

Table 1. Mean Annual Wages of Engineering Occupations, 2016

Engineering Discipline Mean Annual Wage*
Petroleum Engineers 147,030
Computer Engineers 118,700
Aerospace Engineers 112,010
Chemical Engineers 105,420
Electrical Engineers   98,620
Biomedical Engineers   89,970
Mechanical Engineers   89,800
Civil Engineers   89,730
Environmental Engineers   88,530
Engineers   96,440
*Source: CRS analysis of Occupational Employment Statistics survey data, May 2016, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, https://www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm. 
The U.S. Science and Engineering Workforce. Congressional Research Service. www.crs.gov