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As Employers Rethink the Need for College Degrees/Concerned for Underrepresented Groups in STEAM.

Updated: Dec 16, 2022


Although, I, for one, value the importance of a college degree. But given the tight job market and the impact of the pandemic, I understand the need for employers to reconsider the hiring requirement and focus more on the skill sets of the potential new hires. Please check out this post https://www.wsj.com/articles/employers-rethink-need-for-college-degrees-in-tight-labor-market-11669432133?reflink=desktopwebshare_permalink.


However, as much as I understand the need for employers to reconsider their hiring requirements per needs for college degree and focus more on the skill sets of the potential new hires, I am also concerned about the impact on underrepresented groups in the STEAM fields who already lack the crucial skills needed in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics due to lack of access to STEAM-oriented degree programs and work experience as employers focus on candidates' skill sets in STEAM.


While African Americans and Hispanics make up 13% and 18% of the United States population, African Americans make up 9% of the STEM field, and Hispanics make up 7%, according to Roots of underrepresentation in STEM – The Campanile. And according to the United States Census Bureau, although women make up half the force of the workforce in the US, women only represent 27% of the STEM workforce.

Therefore, there is a need to reconsider funding and priorities at the local junior colleges and vocational schools and build more CTE/CTA high schools. There is a need to rethink the significance of two years colleges and vocational schools as the demand for highly skilled workers in the STEAM fields remains high due to lower representation of underrepresented groups in the STEAM fields, more STEM job creation, more STEM job creation, and now a decline in male college enrollment Scholar identifies alarming trends among US men | Watch (msn.com). Moreover, given the high cost of attending a higher institution of learning (with the implication of high student loans per student), this approach could be a win-win situation for the students, the government, and society.

In most of these STEAM-oriented jobs, median salaries are over $50,000, and the students do not have to be laden with heavy student loans, which, generationally, is a win for students and society. And some of these degrees can be earned online in local two years colleges. To gain work experience, some schools offer their students internships while attending their degree programs. All schools should offer their students internships. Below are some of the STEAM-oriented careers.

  1. Information technology

  2. Pharmacist Technician

  3. Registered Nurse

  4. Data management

  5. Mobile Application Development

  6. Radiation Therapist

  7. Nuclear Technician

  8. Web Developer

  9. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

  10. Aircraft Mechanic

  11. Electrical or Electronic Engineering Technician

  12. Radiologic Technologist

  13. Electro-Mechanical Technician

  14. Industrial Engineering Technician

  15. Computer Specialist

  16. Wind Turbine Technician

  17. Drafter

  18. Medical Laboratory Technician

  19. Chemical Technician

  20. Environmental Science and Protection Technician

  21. Mapping or Surveying Technician

  22. Solar Photovoltaic Installers.


Authored by Dr. Ayo Olufade


Think Integrated Career in STEAM fields! You Have the Opportunity to Create the Future and The Privilege of Deciding What's in It! ~ Dr. Ayo Olufade, PhD

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