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By Grace Richards,

When it comes to education and job creation alike, science, technology, engi- neering, and mathematics (STEM) seem to be top priority right now. President Obama’s 2013 budget includes $150 million towards training more teachers in these industries and opening up employment positions for 100,000 educators over the next 10 years. A further $1 billion will go toward promoting greater collaboration between high schools and colleges to streamline STEM curric- ula.

But how much education will these teachers—not to mention other STEM professionals—need in order to get ahead in their careers? There clearly exists a demand for graduate degree holders in the STEM fields, as evidenced by the STEM Jobs Act. While it remains a proposal, if passed it would expedite the citizenship process for international students who graduate with STEM-re- lated master’s degrees and Ph.D.s from American schools. But even beyond legislation at the Congressional and Executive levels, the job market seems to agree that these fields are surging.

Projections see employment in STEM fields rising by 17 percent before 2020, compared to 14 percent for all others. As other industries saw their unemploy- ment rates climb as high as 10 percent, STEM hit 4.1 percent in 2011. And STEM workers typically enjoy raises 26 percent more generous than their counter- parts elsewhere. However, graduates hoping to enter academia following completion of their Ph.Ds should check their majors before applying to that professorship; some disciplines, like engineering, computer science, and the life sciences, prefer to hire those who graduated more than three years ago.

2013 Don’t miss the

2013 Pittsburgh STEM Summit on August 15

Get to the PTC

Justin Driscoll Director, STEM Talent Acquisition 412.918.4281


The 2013 Pittsburgh STEM Summit can help your com- pany find a highly qualified workforce now and in the future. This one-day experi- ence connects your company with successful education and industry partnerships throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. The Summit brings together regional leaders from education and industry to learn about top partnerships taking place around the region, that are transforming the next gener- ation of STEM workers.

Keynote speakers include Mario Livio, astrophysicist from the Hubble Space Tele- scope Science Institute. The STEM Summit will also fea- ture innovative partnerships between local education and technology companies to demonstrate their real world impact on the lives of future STEM workers.

Although pursuing post-secondary education typically leads to better earn- ings over time and greater chances in a competitive job market, the number of students finishing graduate diplomas in the STEM disciplines is actually on the decline. Between 1985 and 2009, the number of master’s degrees conferred dropped from 18 percent to 14 percent.

“The job outlook for STEM graduates with master’s degrees or Ph.D.s is out- standing at present. Besides the well-known reasons, there is a very strong entrepreneurship industry that is focusing primarily on technologies. For example, venture capitalists specifically ask how many STEM masters and Ph.D.s are on the staff of a startup,” says Dr. Amjad Umar, head of the Master’s in Information Systems at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HUST) and a global consultant on IT issues.

Umar’s HUST colleague Andy Petroski, director and assistant professor of learning technologies, also agrees that STEM students’ futures improve with graduate school attendance. “The master’s degree is a path to the career field in most instances. There are almost no instructional design, instructional technology, or learning technologies bachelor degree programs,” he says.

“In a recent eLearning Guild survey, between 40 and 60 percent of respon- dents from the industry (depending on job role) indicated they have a master’s degree,” says Petroski. “In general, the industry feels a master’s degree is im- portant to high performance as an instructional designer or project manager.”

August 15, 2013 7:00 AM-3:30 PM

Mark Your Calendar Pittsburgh STEM Summit

Location: Double Tree Pittsburgh Hotel, 500 Mansfield Avenue, Pittsburgh 15205

For the most up-to-date information about the STEM Summit, visit the conference site at:

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