The acronym stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and the need for more STEM workers is enormous.
STEM jobs are important, because they are tied with how competitive the nation is in the global market.
Right now, in the United States, many high-paying STEM jobs go unfilled because candidates lack necessary technical skills, training or post-secondary degrees. People in STEM jobs typically make 26 percent more pay than those in non-STEM jobs.
This shortage of workers causes businesses to either leave positions unfilled, negatively affecting productivity, or hire qualified candidates from other countries. That’s why so many companies are lining up to help find solutions to the STEM jobs crisis, because the problem is only going to get worse.
STEM jobs are projected to grow in the coming years and to produce millions of new job openings. In contrast, job growth in other professions is projected to be less than 10 percent. By 2020, the U.S. will demand 123 million highly-skilled workers, but there will only be 50 million qualified people to fill these jobs.
Helping fill that gap is a vital mission for AT&T. That’s why the company and the AT&T Foundation have contributed over $103 million to support STEM initiatives through AT&T Aspire since 1987. Projects supported by AT&T contributions range from STEM scholarship programs and science/math focused summer camps for at-risk youth to hands-on technology labs and elite robotics competitions at the nation's leading universities.
Charlene Lake, senior vice president, public affairs and chief sustainability officer for AT&T has said, "Workers with STEM education are increasingly important to our business -- and to nearly every business -- because STEM drives innovation and innovation drives our economy. To meet this growing need, we must collaborate with educators, governments, industries and others to increase the number of people with STEM education, experience and expertise.”
In addition to its overall funding of innovative STEM programs, AT&T remains focused on improving opportunities for STEM learning in K-12 education while helping at-risk youth prepare for work in the 21st century.
AT&T's commitment to education and STEM is as much a part of the company’s legacy as it is their future. AT&T Labs has a number of programs and partnerships focused on increasing the number of STEM students in the pipeline. In addition to university collaborations, AT&T Research offers internships and programs that promote STEM education. Many members of AT&T Labs Research are volunteer leaders of programs related to our historic mission of encouraging young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Learn more about these STEM programs.