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What is STEM & Why is it important?

You've likely heard the term STEM, but what does it stand for? STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math. These four fields share an emphasis on innovation, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Together they make up a popular and fast-growing industry.

Many people debate whether certain fields count as STEM. Some STEM definitions include the social sciences, such as psychology, economics, and anthropology. Most sources, however, consider these separate categories.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement maintains a list of college STEM majors, which includes the four basic subjects above, along with architecture, psychology, digital communication, and some pharmaceutical and social sciences. Notably, fields like accounting, political science, and nursing are excluded from this list.

Why is STEM important?

As society innovates and technology advances, the need for professionals who understand how these technologies work and who can propose practical solutions continues to grow. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calls STEM careers "tomorrow's jobs," emphasizing the importance of these unique industries.

Today, STEM jobs are in high demand, and many are projected to stay in demand for several years. At the same time, STEM professionals are in short supply, which is why so many colleges — as well as the U.S. government — are imploring students to study STEM.
Ensuring students have access to a quality STEM education is essential for keeping the U.S. competitive in the global market. Students are actively encouraged to study STEM through statewide initiatives, many of which encourage women and people of color to enter the predominantly white, male industry

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