Update: I just took a moment to think about this post, and I’m a bit embarrassed. So I’m going to take another run at it, by adding some additional commentary to the bottom of the post. Let me know if it makes any difference to you.
According to a Wall Street Journal’s report on ranking of 200 jobs (from best to worst, it looks like) in America, those jobs that are closely ties to one STEM discipline or another are ranking very highly. College bound students, take note! The list is here, but I’ll share an excerpt.
|1||Actuary||Mathematics, Economics, Accounting|
|2||Software Engineer||Computer Science|
|3||Computer Systems Analyst||Computer Science|
|6||Mathematician||Mathematics (Abstract or Applied or Computational)|
|8||Statistician||Statistics (or, at lots of schools, Mathematics)|
|13||Technical Writer||Writing and any/all STEM discipline|
|15||Web Developer||Computer Science|
|34||Computer Programmer||Computer Science|
|36||Petroleum Engineer||Engineering, Chemistry|
|80||Attorney||for Patent Attorney, any STEM area|
|90||Veterinarian||Agricultural Science or Biology|
|111||Agricultural Scientist||Agricultural Science or Biology|
We in higher education need to address these changes head-on. We can't take a wait-and-see approach, nor can we sit back and run thought experiments to determine the ideal way to revise higher education. We need to approach this challenge in a way that mixes a business-like ethic (weighing short- and long-term expected costs and gains) with entrepreneurialism without losing touch of the liberal arts principles that prepare people to be intellectually agile and adaptable throughout life. Enough said for now. In closing, here are a couple sites that have information about STEM-related careers. The first site provided the WSJ with the job rankings highlighted in this post.