What is STEM?
The acronym STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math — these four areas of study are the basis for creating a well-rounded young mind full of knowledge about a wide range of incredibly interesting and helpful concepts. STEM covers the educational aspect where professionals educate students about these areas both in the traditional educational sense as well as through hands-on real-world training. STEM education creates a pipeline of young people who find interest in these technical areas and ultimately fuels a number of industries’ workforces. Today’s workforces in the industries related to STEM — engineering, industrial design, medicine, cybersecurity, and more — are the largest they have ever been.
When did STEM come about?
STEM was coined by the U.S. National Science Foundation in 2001, though each of the disciplines themselves have existed as tentpoles of society for centuries. Mathematics in one form or another is as old as time, but the modern complexities we see in Math today are widely attributed as starting in ancient Greece with Pythagoras. Engineering came about with a base of mathematics in the 1500s. Modern science came around in the 17th century with inventions such as the microscope and telescope. Technology is a little harder to pinpoint, as the definition of technology has evolved along with the tech overtime. Technically, communication and other human basics fell into the definition of technology whereas now we envision smartphones and AI and other highly technical things.
Who is involved with STEM?
Almost anyone can get involved in STEM, however, the main types of people who will be involved in STEM are elementary, middle, and high school teachers and students as well as professionals in all industries which are related to science, technology, engineering, and math. Creating an interest within the young minds of students throughout all primary school grades creates the pipelines necessary to fuel a thriving workforce in the future.
STEM is essential to the success of so many industries across the globe today. STEM education creates the desire and interest in STEM from an early age and then provides the training and knowledge that make them ready to take on careers in these areas. For the cybersecurity industry specifically, these intrigued minds become the highly skilled and qualified professionals of the future to fill the deepening cybersecurity skills gap. A study from early 2021 showed that 38% of positions within cybersecurity were unfilled and likewise 38% of cyber professionals were feeling high amounts of burn out in their jobs.
How to help STEM grow!
It is incredibly important to encourage young students to pursue higher education in the world of STEM if they find that they have an affinity for the subject matter. The world of cybersecurity as well as all STEM-related fields will be better off in the long run if we cultivate a strong workforce of passionate, knowledgeable young minds today. The STEM students of today will become the cyber professionals of tomorrow.