What do students do with STEM degrees?

A recent study from the U.S. Census Bureau found individuals who graduated from their universities and colleges with degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics don't actually pursue careers in STEM fields. In fact, about 75 percent of these workers and job seekers go in a variety of directions, reported The Washington Post. Liana Christin Landivar, a sociologist with the Census Bureau, told the newspaper that one discrepancy may be found in the way the Census Bureau defines STEM careers. For instance, doctors aren't classified as employees in these fields. Accordingly, students who majored in areas like biology and other sciences who then go on to become doctors aren't represented in the study.

A diverse degree
Meanwhile, roughly 50 percent of those graduating with an engineering, computer science, math and statistics-related degree ultimately end up in STEM careers. Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, told The Post that STEM degrees are increasingly versatile, meaning the skills that people get while studying are applicable in a variety of fields.

Helping train students, professionals
One of the more recent applications of STEM skills to the workplace has been in gamification initiatives. This is a strategy used by a growing number organizations to give employees access to technology that provides motivation to learn new skills and develop professional talents. eCampus News, an online resource for higher education workers interested in the most recent tech developments, explained workers who understand and can apply geographic information systems are in demand. Stephen McElroy, Ph.D., GISP, GIS program chair at American Sentinel University, explained those familiar with GIS are able to provide better user experiences for gamification environments, including virtual commons where people can interact with each other or the platform.

In particular, GIS helps workers and students get a better handle on spatial skills. In the same way Google Earth allows users to visualize and interact with various geographies, GIS employees are able to manage complicated data sets to make these experiences a (virtual) reality for those interested in exploring different worlds.

To meet these objectives, some experts are looking to those still in high school to carry the STEM torch, and recent research suggests they're a willing bunch. A recent HR Executives Online blog post found a Harris Poll study found the No. 1 major for more than 200 high school seniors heading to college is engineering.

In the current economy, there's a demonstrated demand for STEM workers and technical recruiters have the resources to help organizations find the necessary talent quickly and efficiently.