Not too long ago, the acronym STEM was recognized only by those with a technical background or working in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math-related industry. However, the increase in new technology and scientific innovation has generated a higher demand for these professionals inside and outside the common STEM industries. Why are STEM careers becoming more popular today? And what is the role of STEM professionals in business?

David Butcher, in the IMT Career Journal provides an employment outlook for STEM professionals. “Computer and math occupations account for close to half of all STEM employment today, followed by engineering with 32 percent of STEM jobs; physical and life sciences account for 13 percent, and STEM management jobs make up 9 percent.” The trend shows jobs moving beyond these traditional occupations. Butcher cited Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, noting that “STEM competencies are needed in a broader reach of occupations, and their use is growing outside of STEM. What’s more, people within these occupations that use STEM competencies most intensely are earning significantly more than those who are not.”

The demand for STEM talent is growing. According to a research study from the Economics and Statistic Administration, one in 18 workers today has a STEM related job. This rate is expected to grow by 17% for next four years. By 2018 there will be 1.1 million new job opportunities for STEM professionals across traditional and non-traditional Industries.

In response to these trends, STEM professionals are looking to expand their competencies by learning how to speak the language of business. As demand for STEM talent grows in the more industries, so does the demand for business education among those in STEM professions.

The University of St. Thomas is conducting a research study in an effort to better understand the needs and career goals of STEM professionals in business. If you are professional in the fields of science, engineering, technology or mathematics, by answering a few research questions you can help us shape our programs for future STEM professionals seeking a business degree. To participate, follow the link to complete a short survey and visit our website for further information.