Competitive Companies Hire STEM

By Jolene Jefferies, Workforce Sage and Chair, STEM Advisory Council

When it comes to STEM, particularly for talent recruiters, it’s about supply and demand.  Just ask any employment expert about how challenging it really is to find good workers with adequate STEM skills, even in the middle of high unemployment.  Recruiters know that the supply of STEM-qualified labor is much lower than the demand by employers for STEM workers.  STEM jobs aren’t just for those with Ph.D.’s or four year degrees, but include all types of job opportunities that many people simply don’t realize are actually considered STEM jobs.

Did you know that many more STEM job openings go unfilled than there are people to hire for these high-demand employment opportunities?  According to the report on STEM Help Wanted by Change the Equation, on average there are more than three unemployed people to every one job opening, but for STEM jobs, there are two unemployed people per job opening.  Not only that, pay is better for STEM workers.

In a previous blog post, What is a Stem Job?, we shared the list of STEM fields as defined by the National Science Foundation.  But if you want to know the top jobs in STEM having a “Bright Outlook”, you can find a helpful snapshot at O*NET Online.  Bright Outlook occupations are expected to grow rapidly in the next several years, will have large numbers of job openings, or are new and emerging occupations.  A sampling of these Bright Outlook jobs in STEM as listed by O*NET include:

  • Accountants
  • Auditors
  • Financial Quantitative Analysts
  • Business Intelligence Analysts
  • Risk Management Specialists
  • Graphics Designers
  • Video Game Designers
  • Software Developers
  • Computer Network Support Specialists
  • Computer Programmers
  • Electronics Engineering Technologists
  • Cooks, Institution & Cafeteria


  • Nursery & Greenhouse Managers
  • Farm & Ranch Managers
  • Construction Managers
  • Auto Engineering Technicians, Master Mechanics & Specialty Technicians
  • Transportation Engineers & Planners
  • Civil Engineers
  • Mechatronics Engineers
  • Biochemical Engineers
  • Water Resource Specialists & Engineers
  • Environmental Restoration Planners
  • Manufacturing Engineers


You can see from the full O*NET list that STEM jobs include quite a variety of occupations.  Employers that improve their STEM-related diversity recruitment, performance and retention efforts will attract and keep the best STEM talent, and will therefore be better equipped to advance in innovation and lead in global competitiveness.

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