Utah’s tech jobs pay 57% more than the state’s average wage, and the top 10 bachelor-degree majors with the highest median earnings are all in STEM fields. Opportunities for women in these fields abound. Dr. Cheryl Hanewicz, technology management department chair at UVU says, “There are not a lot of women in the fields, but these are the high-paying fields.”
In addition to higher pay, these fields provide great job satisfaction and other benefits. Professor Chris Hailey, Associate Dean of USU’s College of Engineering, says, “since women are a minority in the field, they do not struggle finding a job. When you are eight out of 100, don’t forget you have a lot of control over working part-time. There are so many career paths.” A number of programs and organizations in Utah, such as the Utah Women Tech Council, are committed to making young women more aware of the opportunities.
U.S. News and World Report recently compiled a list of The 25 Best Jobs to pursue by 2020, and eight of the top 10 are STEM-related careers. According to the National Science Foundation, more than 3 million job openings in STEM related fields will be created by 2018 that will require a bachelor’s degree or higher. Utah will have 101,000 STEM-related jobs to be filled in that timeframe.
A number of college programs in Utah give young women an opportunity to explore math and science and careers in the STEM fields. UVU’s Hanewicz spearheaded an event in September where students had an opportunity to meet professors who showed support for graduates within the STEM areas.
The ACCESS Program at the University of Utah offers approximately 40 women each year some extraordinary opportunities and experiences in science and mathematics. It includes hands-on experiences with real-world problems through instruction, laboratory work and team work on assigned projects. The class is designed to give participants not only valuable laboratory experience, but also a taste of each of the major sciences and interaction with some of the university’s most celebrated professors.
Learn more about BYU women in math and science by watching Women in Science on You Tube.
This is just a sampling of all that is available. Many STEM programs can be found throughout the state. For more resources, check the STEM box when doing a search on our website using the Program Support Search.
Younger girls that would like to explore STEM fields can find programs like ATK’s Expanding Your Horizons and Utah State’s Engineering State (applications available Jan. 1). See the Program Support Search for more ideas.
Tami Goetz is the State Science Advisor