By Debbie Gregory.
According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment among post-9/11 veterans was still running at a higher rate than the civilian population. This comes at a time when American employers are struggling to find workers who are qualified to work in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.
It has been projected that employment in occupations related to STEM will total more than 9 million jobs between 2012 and 2022. That’s an increase of about 1 million jobs over 2012 employment levels.
The demand for employees with technical training isn’t likely to subside anytime soon. STEM workers use their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, or math to try to understand how the world works and to solve problems.
This is especially relevant for Veterans because military service leaves many men and women particularly well-prepared for careers in these fields. Our nation’s military is highly trained, and extremely familiar with cutting- edge technology. When you add in the rich education benefits that Veterans have, continuing their advancement to train for these skilled jobs seems like a no-brainer.
Occupations with both high employment and fast growth usually offer better opportunities than small occupations with slow growth. High-employment, fast-growth occupations include computer systems analysts, applications software developers, and systems software developers. In fact, information security professionals will grow 37 percent by 2022 — faster than any other STEM positions.
Young veterans can thrive in high-demand STEM professions. What’s needed now is an aggressive, national effort to help America’s former service members put their abilities to work in the STEM fields.
By preparing today’s newly-minted Veterans for careers in STEM, they will be best positioned to achieve the American dream. All the while, they will be building the skilled workforce the 21st century economy demands.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) has detailed profiles for hundreds of occupations. Profiles include information about job duties, wages, typical education, job outlook, and more. The OOH is available online at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/.
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Military Connection: STEM Jobs May Be the Best Fix For Veteran Unemployment: By Debbie Gregory