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Still Think That "STEM Degree" is a Ticket to a Nice Job?

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Anything related to matters of the mind

Mr.Brandtastic

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Census: 74% of STEM grads don't get STEM jobs

Here it is, a study showing that 74% of STEM graduate with Bachelor's degrees do not work in STEM. Yes, you read that correctly, 74% must either work jobs not pertaining to their field or go on to pursue a higher level of education.

So the next time someone (parents, friends, family, media, anyone) says, "Just get a STEM degree and you'll have a nice cushy job waiting for you." Don't believe it. It's just a myth. The vast majority of students are not doing their work their degree prepares them for. My guess would be that at least half of them work neanderthal jobs that require a high school diploma only.

85% of People Hate Their Jobs, Gallup Poll Says

Also combine this with this article showing 70% of Americans hate their jobs. 85% hate their jobs globally. And a staggering 94% of workers in China and Japan hate their jobs. Long hours, late nights, long commutes, burn out, missing opportunities, missing family, friends, and children. Between the late night zombie meals, the fast food runs, the lack of physical activity, and crashing on the couch to watch 4 hours of television before you wake up and do it again, 5-6 days a week, for the next 30-40 years. Yes folks, it's really that wonderful.

This is why we go Fastlane, to avoid this pitfall. This non-answer. This trap. This rat race. Whatever you call it, you know something is deeply unsettling about it. Something is profoundly wrong. It's not the way you were supposed to live. This is why you're here now. Just let in sink in, the real cost of not having a fastlane is that 7 out of 10 will be miserable their whole lives. Work hard now or suffer long later.
 
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nyc217

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Census: 74% of STEM grads don't get STEM jobs

Here it is, a study showing that 74% of STEM graduate with Bachelor's degrees do not work in STEM. Yes, you read that correctly, 74% must either work jobs not pertaining to their field or go on to pursue a higher level of education.

So the next time someone (parents, friends, family, media, anyone) says, "Just get a STEM degree and you'll have a nice cushy job waiting for you." Don't believe it. It's just a myth. The vast majority of students are not doing their work their degree prepares them for. My guess would be that at least half of them work neanderthal jobs that require a high school diploma only.

85% of People Hate Their Jobs, Gallup Poll Says

Also combine this with this article showing 70% of Americans hate their jobs. 85% hate their jobs globally. And a staggering 94% of workers in China and Japan hate their jobs. Long hours, late nights, long commutes, burn out, missing opportunities, missing family, friends, and children. Between the late night zombie meals, the fast food runs, the lack of physical activity, and crashing on the couch to watch 4 hours of television before you wake up and do and again, 5-6 days a week, for the next 30-40 years. Yes folks, it's really that wonderful.

This is why we go Fastlane, to avoid this pitfall. This non-answer. This trap. This rat race. Whatever you call it, you know something is deeply unsettling about it. Something is profoundly wrong. It's not the way you were supposed to live. This is why you're here now. Just let in sink in, the real cost of not having a fastlane is that 7 out of 10 will be miserable their whole lives. Work hard now or suffer long later.
Awesome stuff here. Wow, never knew that.
 

Argue

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I can agree that I definitely HATE my job. Although, it's fuel to work on my side project, so I take it as a blessing.
 

JAJT

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I think the stats show that most grads don't get jobs in their chosen fields.

There's this huge disconnect that nobody talks about in college/uni called "experience". All your peers, parents, teachers and guidance counselors will tell you that education IS the experience. The only expression that accurately describes this thinking is "lol".

Believe it or not, most hiring managers don't want inexperienced grads working for them. They want folks who will do the best job, AKA, experienced folks.

Usually to get into your field of study you need to side-step or grow into it. Start at the bottom (as if you had no education) and work your way into what you went to school for. It's an insulting process to go through after spending 3-4 years and countless dollars only to land in near-minimum-wage land.

Also, once you graduate, and no surprises here, you're poor!
You need a job. Any job. And you needed it 4 years ago.

So while you may be a graduate of a killer program, you don't have the financial freedom to hold out for something "worth your time".

You'd be dumbfounded at the number of highly intelligent folks that serve you burgers and fries.
 
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Mr.Brandtastic

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You'd be dumbfounded at the number of highly intelligent folks that serve you burgers and fries.

I worked in a deli when I had my degree with two other people, one who had a phd and one with their master's degree.
 

Kid

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Thanks for bringing the stats.

For me the problem is deeper - STEM degree is lie by colleges and universities. The lie that many young people buy into.

You know why they lie? Its brutally simple: money. They lie because they live of grads.

STEM degree was maybe worth something 10 years ago, when so many tech startups ware popping up everywhere.

You know why the problem is even deeper?

In UK , they teach basics of programming in every school to children as young as five.

That's the lie parents buy.

Do you know what will happen when children spend their lives basically between PC and smart phone? Thinking about algorithms and points they can get from the game?

I'll leave it to your imagination.
 

JAJT

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For clarity - I do absolutely love STEM subjects.

I think it's an important subject for young people to get into and one we should encourage basically from birth.

There's really no doubt that STEM is where our future as a species comes from.

I don't necessarily believe it has to come from formal education, and certainly not at the cost that it does in North America, but it's worth noting that hating the system that is in place to teach these subjects is much different than hating the underlying education being taught.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Here it is, a study showing that 74% of STEM graduate with Bachelor's degrees do not work in STEM. Yes, you read that correctly, 74% must either work jobs not pertaining to their field or go on to pursue a higher level of education.

So the next time someone (parents, friends, family, media, anyone) says, "Just get a STEM degree and you'll have a nice cushy job waiting for you." Don't believe it. It's just a myth. The vast majority of students are not doing their work their degree prepares them for. My guess would be that at least half of them work neanderthal jobs that require a high school diploma only.

Aww, don't be sad. After finishing a shift at Arbys with your STEM degree (and your $100K in debt) you can sleep soundly by knowing that your college just hired their football team's new defensive coordinator for only $2M a year.
 

ZCP

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Please send all these Engineering and Technology grads my way!.....
 

masaldana2

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Hmmm idk, most of my friends that i graduated with have jobs in stem and the ones that dont. Usually they lack ambition or husle...
True, almost all of my stem jobs Suck
 
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justonemore

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Just my worthless opinion. The term STEM is watered down. Biology is STEM right? The business school that puts out "IT" degrees is STEM right? That qualifies one for Starbucks, maybe?

IMO, real STEM is Engineering, Physics, Math, Computer Science. Any of those guarantees a 6 figure job(within 5 years of starting).
Also, all of those aren't wimpy surf the web and watch youtube degrees. They're sacrifice everything degrees.
 

DavidK

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I graduated with a Master's in Physics and Bachelor's in Math and Philosophy. Spent 6 months applying for tons of jobs and got little traction due to lack of experience. Eventually I somehow got job which required a GIS degree and am close to 6 figures after 3 years...but only because I became a project manager. My schooling provided almost no skills for my current job, all skills were learned through self teaching about management and by outworking everyone else. Working 12 hour days while everyone else works 8 will get you noticed eventually.

BTW I started as a tech at $14 an hour, the better money only came once I got noticed and switched gears into management.

Engineering degree may have better results but with physics or math my experience has been the only real path is getting PHD and doing post doc work and then going to private sector. Most jobs I saw that were over 70K required PHD plus experience... Of course there are always exceptions to the rule.

If you are doing a STEM degree I believe it's value is greatly increased if you pair it with a business related degree.
 

Andy Black

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Just my worthless opinion. The term STEM is watered down. Biology is STEM right? The business school that puts out "IT" degrees is STEM right? That qualifies one for Starbucks, maybe?

IMO, real STEM is Engineering, Physics, Math, Computer Science. Any of those guarantees a 6 figure job(within 5 years of starting).
Also, all of those aren't wimpy surf the web and watch youtube degrees. They're sacrifice everything degrees.
Hmm. I got a Maths degree. Don't think I made a full week of lectures in 3 whole years. I did two weeks work a year, learning how to answer exam questions. I went in loving Maths, and came out bored to tears.

As a Mathematician and IT dude, the most fun I've had with my pants on is bursting revenue for clients. Maths gets real interesting when it puts a roof over people's head and food on their table.
 
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OMDA

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STEM has paid very well for me, but it's required a lot of constant studying and getting to the root of issues.
A lot of engineers I know are unwilling to explore beyond their narrow area of focus and thus get blindsided by issues that should be obvious. This is the norm.
I've moved across the country multiple times, each with a pay raise, and got a great lead from a recruiter. But, it's still limited to 6 figures as an employee, with the ridiculous office politics, management separated from reality, and schedule pressure from know-nothings.
Lots of room for improvement. Which is why I'm here.
 

Andy Black

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Would I be wrong in saying that STEM grads make good employees?

Not that there's anything wrong with being an employee... if you want to be an employee.
 

loop101

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If you're going to work for someone else, they typically have to pay you for your degree. The higher your degree, the more they have to pay you. The more math you had to take, the more they have to pay you. The higher and harder your degree, the more they assume you are intelligent and dependable, and the more you are able to command for your salary. Your STEM degree may not get you a STEM job, but it will get you a better job than the guy with a degree in Art Appreciation. This is what I've observed in Fortune 500 companies.

Having said that, it is in no businesses interest to pay any more than what is required to keep you dependent on them.
 
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loop101

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Would I be wrong in saying that STEM grads make good employees?

Not that there's anything wrong with being an employee... if you want to be an employee.

In places I've worked, the people that were Engineers always got the best jobs (and not Engineering jobs).

There was also a lot of complaints, back in the 90s, about Novell's network certification programs producing "Certified Network Engineers". College grads were mad when a bunch of high-schoolers with CNE's were running around, advertising themselves as "engineers".
 

racyred09

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I find that statistic quite shocking! I wonder how much of it has to do with the reputation of the university in industry- my undergrad chemical engineering graduating class had a 100% employment rate in STEM jobs as of graduation, but I know a lot of companies only hire out of a handful of institutions. However, I completely agree about STEM professionals being hired into jobs that someone without a degree could do. I did not use my degree whatsoever in my previous job and was trained on the job. It seems to be a fact that everyone in engineering knows that you get your degree(s) "to prove you know how to learn". Not a great system, is it?

I don't want to hate on getting a STEM degree because there were plenty of people I know who were hired out with a BSc into a 6-figure job. If you get the *right* STEM degree you will do just fine. It's definitely not right for what I want in life anymore, though.
 

socaldude

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The tricky thing about this bubble is that you can't turn around and sell your college degree(asset) like a house or a bitcoin.

Nope you are stuck with thousands in un-bankruptable loans and a worthless piece of paper with fancy letters.

The government has a done a good job turning this into a catch-22. Lie to you that college is worth millions over a lifetime. Almost unlimited borrowing for tuition. Colleges raising tuition. Then you stuck with no job and thousands in loans.

The way this bubble is gonna burst is not through a massive sell off but rather students and taxpayers in for a rude awakening.

Ever ready the fine print on an investment that says "Past performance does not indicate future performance"? Well maybe this applies to college. Hmm.
 
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justonemore

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Eventually I somehow got job which required a GIS degree and am close to 6 figures after 3 years...but only because I became a project manager. My schooling provided almost no skills for my current job, all skills were learned through self teaching

That's true of all degrees. When kids graduate, even with very specific skilled degree, they're near worthless. Learning starts on day 1 at the job.
What's important is the core skills you gained that you're unaware of learning that are insanely valuable.
Philosophy for example teaches how to read and understand very very complex texts.
It also teaches logic, critical thinking, writing, etc. It's very hard to teach those foundation level skills. Your ability to teach yourself project management is probably helped to a large extent by years of being forced to learn complex things.

I also think studying every day for years is like lifting weights. Your brain kind of 'gains muscle' by being used in very difficult ways IMO.

Another thing to think about related. AI/Robotics/Outsourcing is going to kill most jobs over time. If you treated college like an expensive trade school and only learned something like accounting. What happens when AI kills off that industry? The skill of learning complex things fast is the single most important skill. Physics and Philosophy are probably the best degrees you could get to gain that.
 

DrkSide

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You'd be dumbfounded at the number of highly intelligent folks that serve you burgers and fries.
I used to go to a bar where every employee had advanced degrees (some stem some not) but they continued to work at the bar as they made more money than taking a "regular job".
 
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NewManRising

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I have a STEM degree. Mine is in biology (evolution, ecology and organismal concentration). I chose this on my own and not the fact that others were promoting it. The way they promoted STEM fields have been that they want people to think these are the fields that have a future and are stable. And, they have been pushing lots of minority races and women to get into them too. Lots of programs for these groups to benefit in if they get into it. The other thing, in my experience, I seen lots and lots of kids in these fields, not by their choice, but by their parent's choice . When I was taking beginner chemistry courses and bio courses like 95% of the class were claiming they were going to be a doctor, vet, dentist, nurse, engineer, etc. Nearly all were not cut out for it. Most HATED science and math, they were merely doing it as a means to an end. They were chasing after the money and prestige of having one of these degrees. As a result, most drop out.

The other thing I noticed is that most were not emotionally mature for it. I found that most of these kids lacked social skills and even friendliness to people. They all still had that high school mentality. Very few were independent. They took courses with their friends, always did homework, formed groups for projects with friends, and so on. When outside their groups they struggled to be independent and motivated. They don't realize that in this world you can't depend on your friends, or even parent's forever. And you need emotional maturity to work in this world and that includes people skills with everyone. Many live in a bubble and don't understand the world really. They have never been outside educational institutions and had any independence outside their family/friends. As a result, they are emotionally stunted.

Lastly, many have no work experience. They have the belief once they have the degree the job will come to them AND they will make top dollar once they get out. They have no idea you get paid an entry level wage/salary in the beginning. Therefore, they act picky and turn down jobs if they are not getting the promised or believed amount they should be getting. They act like they are special but forget there are 1000s or even millions of other people just like them trying to get the same jobs. While in school, they don't gather experience. One reason is that their parent's pay for everything and also only care about them getting the degree. Stupid mistake on their clueless parents' part. In fact, for the most part, it is about the parents trying to be validated though their kids. All throughout school I worked. But not only did I work, all my experience was in science jobs/internships. I worked in labs too. Did field work and learned techniques, picked up a skill called GIS and learned to use GPS. I have not had problems getting jobs while in school or after. In fact, I get employers chasing me. I have had some send me job offers through my LinkedIn profile. Anyway, the point is, the majority are stupid for letting others control them and make their choices for them. They are clueless about how the world works. Many get into STEM for money or for the feeling of being admired for having such a degree. They have the belief they are special and deserve X amount of dollars, don't have to bother getting any experience, and the market needs them and will chase after them.
 

NewManRising

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Eventually I somehow got job which required a GIS degree and am close to 6 figures after 3 years...but only because I became a project manager.

I know GIS too. I only took an introductory course and gathered some experience through jobs. It eventually got me a job with the govt. And I am getting job offers left and right that pay really good. All the people with GIS where I work make big money, even just entry level analysts. Any supervisors and managers are making 6 figures easily. This skill is in demand and growing too. And it can be applied in so many fields. While getting the work is easy and pay is good I don't want to stay with it. I just don't like to sit at a desk all day. I prefer being outdoors and doing field work in science. But, GIS can be applied here too. I just never saw that it would give me opportunities like it has.
 

LeoistheSun

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I know GIS too. I only took an introductory course and gathered some experience through jobs. It eventually got me a job with the govt. And I am getting job offers left and right that pay really good. All the people with GIS where I work make big money, even just entry level analysts. Any supervisors and managers are making 6 figures easily. This skill is in demand and growing too. And it can be applied in so many fields. While getting the work is easy and pay is good I don't want to stay with it. I just don't like to sit at a desk all day. I prefer being outdoors and doing field work in science. But, GIS can be applied here too. I just never saw that it would give me opportunities like it has.

ArcGIS?
 
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