October 25, 2014
Jason Troyano

Jason Troyano

Matthew Kazen

Matthew Kazen

Knowing the Market

It's Not Your Parents' Tech Career

If you think tech jobs are boring and stuffy, think again.

Ginger Broslat | 11/8/2013

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math, and the state of Florida is pretty serious about preparing the workforce to fill jobs in these fields.

Why the big push? In Florida, the number of STEM jobs is projected to increase by 19% from 2008 to 2018, compared to 12% job growth for Florida's economy as a whole. The unemployment rate in Florida's STEM industries stands at 5%, compared to 11% in non-STEM industries.

Eric Roe, director of the Manufacturing Talent Development Group and director of Applied Technology at Polk State College, says that industries across the board are becoming more focused on innovation and technology. "At the same time innovation is requiring highly skilled, educated workers, many of that level are retiring. There is a significant talent gap that needs to be filled."

That's good news for young people deciding on a career path. Don't automatically assume you wouldn't like working in a STEM career just because you didn't like high school algebra … or because your science project exploded … or because you're a woman. STEM careers aren't just for nerdy guys. And some of the coolest jobs around require a background in science, technology, engineering and math. After all, someone had to build and program all of the apps and gadgets you can't live without, right? So have an open mind and explore the options.

Start with your Regional Workforce Board. Ask about STEM jobs training assistance. They will know employers in your area who need workers, and there may be training dollars available to help you qualify for one of those positions.


"This is such an exciting time to be entering the field of engineering. There are products from high-tech biomedical equipment to common household appliances that all need software to make them operate. The new opportunities that exist for environmental engineers are so much more vast than in the past. It's not all about roads, buildings and bridges anymore. If a young adult is focused and has a desire to prepare for a STEM career, like engineering, there are great prospects for a rewarding future."

- Zana Raybon, Executive Director, Florida Board of Professional Engineers


Top Earning STEM Careers in Florida (average Hourly wage 2011)

with an Associate Degree
Industrial Production Managers $51.22
Computer Software Engineers Applications $40.80
Computer Systems Analysts $34.90
Database Administrators $34.38
Registered Nurses $30.83


Top Earning STEM Careers in Florida (average Hourly wage 2011)

with a Bachelor's Degree
Computer and Information Systems Managers $59.46
Engineering Managers $57.24
Natural Science Managers $57.12
Financial Managers $56.41
Environmental Science Teachers $54.74
For a full list of top earning stem careers, visit: www.floridajobs.org/stemjobs

Tags: Florida Career Connections, Job Search

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