Want to know the impact science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have on your daily life? Consider your morning routine. From the running water in your sink to the internet access you use to check your email, nearly every aspect of our lives has been touched by someone in a STEM profession. Just as the outcomes of STEM are vast, so are the job opportunities. For every seemingly simple product (such as a kitchen sink), there are teams of people involved in its creation. Architects, chemists, engineers, manufacturers, designers, plumbers...the list goes on. That's why learning STEM in high school can give your student a head start on a career and unlock a world of opportunities.
STEM Career Paths
How many types of STEM jobs are there? Because the field is always expanding and evolving, the number is immeasurable. Instead, to keep things simple, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics created a list of the top 100 careers in STEM. Ranging from astronomers to math teachers to zoologists, the possibilities are endless for your teen. While the job options are vast, there are a few that dominate. Seven out of ten of the largest STEM occupations are computer-related. But what about professions outside of Information Technology (IT)? Engineering is next in line, making up nearly 20 percent of all STEM jobs.
STEM career paths require sharp professional skills and strong technical skills. Learning STEM in high school can help your teen develop their analytical and creative thinking, as they complete projects and experiments. Through career readiness education, your teen can learn the technical side of STEM while mastering professional talents as well. Teamwork, leadership, and attention to detail are all strong skills to have to be competitive in STEM, but they take experience to develop. Through hands-on, project-based learning, your teen can learn these skills before launching into a full-time career.
Engineering and Manufacturing Career Paths
Through career readiness education, your teen can get a head start on a STEM path in high school. Destinations Career Academy, a K12-powered career readiness high school, prepares students for in-demand occupations in STEM. Your teen can take courses to explore job types to see if STEM is the right fit for them. If it's a match, your teen can then pursue a pathway program and start developing the technical skills needed for their future career.
Engineering is the backbone of how our society operates. From the roads you drive on to the cars you drive in, engineers ensure everything built is safe and will work properly. In the Engineering/Technology Pathway, students start with Engineering Explorations to learn the basic principles of the field and understand the variety of professions within the field. Throughout the pathway, students take courses to learn fundamental skills like technical drawing and physics. With a career-focused course load, every class (even the non-STEM classes) helps them become analytical, detail-oriented, and innovative engineers.
Advanced Manufacturing Pathway
Just as sci-fi novelists of the past have predicted, robots are taking over, and the skills needed to work in manufacturing have evolved. Knowledge in mechatronics and robotics is now a highly desirable skill in traditional manufacturing careers. In the Advanced Manufacturing Pathway, students develop technical skills needed to work in modernized production. From learning computer-aided design (CAD) to robotic mechanisms, students in this pathway graduate ready to pursue a career or college degree in robotics.
Heavy Machine Operations Pre-Apprenticeship Pathway
Did you know STEM jobs have a median salary of $86,980? That's over double the national average. Within those careers, lie manufacturing specialties like derrick operating, in which the median salary is over $48,000. In the Heavy Machine Operations Pre-Apprenticeship Pathway, students learn the fundamental skills needed to work in manufacturing and construction. Being a heavy equipment operator requires a lot of on-the-job training and experience, typically in the form of an apprenticeship. This pathway prioritizes learning technical skills that give students a competitive edge when applying for highly sought-after union apprenticeship programs.
Robotics for High School Students
Learning robotics in high school is an exciting and engaging way for your teen to develop their STEM knowledge. At Destinations Career Academy, your teen can explore robotics through manufacturing pathways. Classes like Lean Manufacturing and Automation teach students the fundamentals of robotics and electrical systems, while developing math skills for technicians. In addition to learning in the classroom, your teen can join clubs that focus on robotics. From interscholastic competitions to hobby groups, there are a number of communities your teen can join at Destinations to dive deeper into robotics.
*Career fields and pathways vary by school. Check with your school for its current offerings
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