Missouri trending upward in STEM education
There has been a tremendous emphasis in Missouri in recent years to encourage students to focus their efforts on excelling in science, technology, engineering and math. National data show this work is paying off, as the state is now performing better than most when it comes to students completing postsecondary STEM degrees and credentials.
For every 1,000 Missouri students who enroll in postsecondary education, 27.9 students complete a STEM degree or certificate. That’s about one student more than the national average. Missouri also ranks better than all of its neighboring states except Oklahoma and Kentucky.
In recent years, several programs have taken root in Missouri to encourage students to pursue STEM careers to help fill a worker shortage in that area. The Missouri Chamber Foundation has been a leader in these efforts by facilitating the Missouri Mathematics and Science Coalition. The foundation also facilitates the Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway model in Missouri and hosts STEM Day at the Capitol.
Missouri’s performance in STEM program completion ranks 17th in the nation, according to the Missouri 2030 Dashboard. To push the state even higher, the Missouri General Assembly is considering a proposal that would bring a new program that showcases STEM careers to the state’s classrooms.
Missouri’s progress at encouraging students to pursue STEM education after high school is a positive sign considering that STEM careers are growing faster than other jobs, as reported by the national Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau also notes that wages are growing faster in STEM fields as well.