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Other Which STEM field could be the most employable in 2017?

  1. Dec 28, 2016 #1

    StatGuy2000

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    Hi everyone! I thought I would pose this question to all of you on PF. Which STEM field do you think could be the most employable in the US and Canada in 2017, based on the following:

    (1) Past demand in the US and Canada circa 2015 and 2016.

    (2) Current demand in the US and Canada as of today.

    (3) Your speculation on what the economies in the US and Canada may be like as of 2017. (This last bit may be difficult given the uncertainties with the result of the 2016 US presidential election, not to mention unforeseeable events that will no doubt occur during that year, but feel free to speculate)

    Please note: I am asking about what STEM field, not any particular job. I'm also factoring in both careers across both the public and private sectors, both in industry and in academia.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
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  3. Dec 28, 2016 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    It depends on the degree (BS, MS, PhD), but IMO, for a BS degree the most employable person will be a K-12 (US system) STEM teacher. Every single one of our students receive multiple job offers the moment they graduate.
     
  4. Dec 28, 2016 #3

    Cod

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    Computer Science is on the top of my list. Good computer scientists / software engineers are tough to come by in today's environment. A lot of people and, sadly, companies see generic programmers as computer scientists / software engineers. This couldn't be further from the truth. The need for well educated people with a computer science background covers a vast number of industries and, with the Internet of Things become a computing norm, this need will increase exponentially in my opinion. Couple CS with any other science (math, physics, etc.) and you're sitting on a gold mine.
     
  5. Dec 28, 2016 #4
    I'll see if I can find real data to back this up later, but the hype is that what is really being looked for now is some combination of stats/computer science. I don't know anybody with a stats degree that has had problems finding work if they made an effort. Data Science or Data Analytics degrees are popping up now to fill this need, supposedly.

    -Dave K
     
  6. Dec 28, 2016 #5

    Cod

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    I believe all this falls under the realm of machine learning. According to SAS, "Machine learning is a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building. Using algorithms that iteratively learn from data, machine learning allows computers to find hidden insights without being explicitly programmed where to look." Your previous post fits into their definition pretty well.
     
  7. Dec 28, 2016 #6
    Well yes. I don't know about "falls under," but machine learning is the top of the pyramid as far as all these skill sets go - programming, algorithms, statistics, SQL, "big data" yadda yadda.

    It's a field that is struggling to define itself right now. But I'd say if you have C.S. and Stats you have a job. (Probably stats majors are slightly harder to find than C.S.)
     
  8. Jan 10, 2017 #7
    Agreed.

    And, IMO, it's fascinating stuff. If I could do it all again, this is what i'd do.
     
  9. Jan 11, 2017 #8

    StatGuy2000

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    As a statistician, I haven't had to struggle to find employment, and certainly those with, say, a Masters in CS with a strong stats background would also be especially employable.
     
  10. Jan 11, 2017 #9

    StatGuy2000

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    It's interesting you point the demand for K-12 (US system) STEM teachers, because I would assume that demand would vary depending on the level of state or county funding being made available for education. Here in Canada, there are various locations where there has been a surplus of graduates from teachers college (or what used to be called "normal schools") and so would-be teachers have had difficulty finding positions (the situation may be better for those teaching STEM subjects, but I honestly can't say).
     
  11. Jan 11, 2017 #10

    Andy Resnick

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    Sure, there's a geographically uneven distribution of demand. Even so, my central point remains- every single one of our STEM teacher graduates receive multiple employment offers, and every single one is currently employed as a K-12 teacher, typically a math teacher but STEM teaching in general. To be clear, a "STEM teacher graduate" is someone who graduated from a joint program (CSUTeach) between the colleges of education and science, essentially graduating with 2 degrees. It's not an easy program, and it's not unique- ours is modeled off of UTeach: https://uteach.utexas.edu/
     
  12. Jan 11, 2017 #11
    Yes, and I wish I would have known all of this earlier, before going for my M.A. in pure math. To date I have never had a stats class, though I'm going to pursue it as soon as I'm done.

    -Dave K
     
  13. Mar 27, 2017 #12

    StatGuy2000

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    Hi everyone. I thought I would follow up on this thread by asking a related question:

    Which STEM field do you think could be the most employable field in the US or Canada in 2017 in academia or in an academic-like research institute (e.g. Bell Labs, Microsoft Research, Los Alamos National Laboratory, etc.)?
     
  14. Mar 27, 2017 #13
    I knew someone with a STEM PhD making $24k a year as a STEM teacher in North Carolina.

    Perhaps we might debate the degree to which that qualifies as "employment." The powers that be are NOT putting their money where their mouth is by applying the laws of supply and demand when they keep saying "we need more STEM teachers."
     
  15. Mar 27, 2017 #14

    jtbell

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    Teachers' salaries are lower than average in NC. Last year on one of my visits to Charlotte, I read a long article in the local newspaper about the difficulties Charlotte schools have in keeping good teachers. Cities in other states send recruiters to NC to lure teachers away with offers of better salaries. I remember Houston TX being mentioned specifically.
     
  16. Mar 27, 2017 #15

    Vanadium 50

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    As you almost certainly know, there is intense pressure from teachers unions to keep this from happening. Depending on where you are, this pressure may or may not be successful. Where it isn't, there is often heightened competition - just like supply and demand suggest.

    My point is that there's not really a national market. It's all local.
     
  17. Mar 28, 2017 #16

    StatGuy2000

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    Funny how none of the most responses in this thread address my updated question. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Mar 29, 2017 #17

    StatGuy2000

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    Again, I'm surprised that there is not a single response to my follow-up question about which STEM field could be the most employable in the US or Canada in an academic (or academia-like) setting.

    It has often been stated that tenure-track academic positions are highly competitive (in both STEM and non-STEM fields). But the thing is, people are being hired for these positions. What I would like to know is data on who is being hired, and in what specific STEM disciplines or fields are there the most open tenure-track assistant professor positions.
     
  19. Mar 29, 2017 #18

    Vanadium 50

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    I don't think that data exists. I also don't know how one wwould interpret this: if there are 200 full time and 200 part time mathematics openings, and 100 full time and 10 part time physics openings, with 2000 math grads and 700 physics grads, which is better?
     
  20. Mar 29, 2017 #19

    StatGuy2000

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    How can you be so sure?

    Let's take your hypothetical example.

    The question I would ask is how many of those 200 full time mathematics openings (or the 100 full time physics openings) are tenure-track (i.e. assistant professor positions, on the path to tenure status, so I would exclude all visiting professorships, teaching-stream or other non-tenure track positions) -- for the moment, I would exclude part-time openings, since I would suspect that most such positions would be either adjunct lecturer positions.

    Depending on the percentage of the full time openings that are tenure-track or not, then I can take a look at the 2000 math grads and 700 physics grads (I presume you are assuming that all of these are PhD graduates, right?), and determine which group would be better.

    For example, let's say that (for argument's sake) that 50% of each of the open full time positions are tenure-track (so 100 for math, 50 for physics). Then in that case, the probability of a math grad would land this position would be 100/2000 = 5% (assuming that all 2000 candidates are roughly equivalent in qualifications). Similarly, the probability of a physics grad landing a tenure-track position would be 50/700 = approximately 7.1% (again, assuming that all 700 candidates are roughly equivalent in qualifications). So in this case, physics is more employable than math.
     
  21. Mar 29, 2017 #20

    Vanadium 50

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    If I were sure, I'd say "I am positive it doesn't exist!" But the reason I am leaning against that, apart from the example I gave (and you needed to make assumptions - more on that in a moment) we're still in the middle of this years faculty search season. Most, but not all, places are winding down, but the music has not stopped.

    Your assumptions are reasonable, but they weren't the ones I had in the back of my head (which were that multiple part time jobs would "fuse" and be held by a single adjunct, and that we would argue whether this was a real job or not).
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
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