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The STEM and the ROSE
Recently, a 19 year old was discussing going back to school after trying a year in the “working world”, after graduating high school. He already possessed a solid financial disciple, so returning to the classroom would not be an appetizer sampler, similar to the approach many young adults take heading out of high school.
As we talked about his potential choices of major, the options began to migrate toward one of two poles on the educational globe. To the North Pole went the courses of study in the arts, humanities, education, and the service industries. The South Pole was tightly occupied by the traditional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) majors.
My young friend’s first inclination was to explore the northern hemisphere. He talked about becoming a historian or artist. I wanted to ensure that he explored his entire planet of options, so I introduced him to a recent article in the Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine.
The article lists the ten best college majors based on employment rates, initial pay level, and growth prospects. Not surprisingly, eight of the top ten fields of study were directly in the STEM region of the South Pole. Some would argue that nursing and construction are largely based in science and mathematics, resulting in a 10 for 10 STEM sweep.
Kiplinger’s Top Ten Best Majors (STEM designation in parentheses)
1) Pharmacy (S)
2) Computer Science (T)
3) Civil Engineering (E)
4) Information Systems Management (T)
6) Information Systems (T)
7) Finance (M)
8) Math (M)
9) Information Science (S)
The young man began to ponder his choices. About a week later I saw him again and asked about his decision making progress. He said to me, “While I realize that the money is in the STEM fields, I want to build on the work of my friends in the STEM fields to create magnificent ROSES that are nurtured by the STEM. I’m leaning toward creative arts using the technology of tomorrow. I want the whole flower, STEM and all.”
I had no further advice for the young man. I knew with such an insightful outlook, he will not fail!