Jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) make up an increasing percentage of occupations, with an estimated 800,000 new STEM jobs expected over the next ten years. These jobs range from computer programmers to architects, cartographers to astronomers, manufacturing technicians to agricultural engineers. Nearly all STEM occupations have wages above the national average.
Unfortunately, Hispanics continue to be under represented in STEM occupations, comprising 16% of the workforce but only 7% of all STEM workers. There are a number reasons for this low participation rate. There is a general lack of awareness regarding the wide variety and increasing availability of STEM jobs in the marketplace. Almost all STEM occupations require at least two years of education past high school, many requiring a four-year college degree. Some of these jobs involve other forms of training including apprenticeships, community college courses and trade schools.
Studies have shown that Hispanic high school students have lower rates of interest in STEM fields than other groups, leading them to other career choices. A lack of Hispanic role models may lead Hispanic students to believe a STEM career is not available to them.
The Maryland STEM Festival continues to work to eliminate these barriers with a virtual Hispanic Career Panel Discussion on October 20th at 7 pm. A panel discussion will be held in Spanish and English featuring a variety of Hispanic STEM professionals.
- Gianni Pablos Vega, Radar Test and Evaluation Section Supervisor at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
- Ileana Pazos, Research Chemist in the Dosimetry Group, Radiation Physics Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology
- Carlos Martinez, President – CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services LLC.
- Amaia Montoya, Research and Development Director at W. R. Grace & Co
- Xiomara Calderon-Colon, Materials Scientist/ Project Manager at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory