Pursuing a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) field is an important decision that a large number of students in the US have to take once they are ready to go to the college. With the cost of education growing at an alarming rate, a four year degree can easily cost anywhere between $100,000 to $150,000 depending upon the University and the popularity of program and if one decides to attend the post graduate school, you can add another $100,000. This is during 2015 to 2020 time frame. In future the cost may go up even further. In addition to the money, one has to dedicate significant time and effort to successfully complete these programs which are challenging indeed. As a result it becomes quite difficult to do any part time job while attending courses in the STEM field.
So the question becomes is a degree in STEM field worth the time, effort and money ? After spending so much time, effort and money what are the chances you will be able to recoup the investment in a reasonable time frame ?
The government of the united states is not helping the cause either. The big IT companies are sending the jobs offshore and they have no reason not to due to existing US policies of not discouraging offshoring jobs or importing of IT services. Here are some reports of recent layoffs -
1) September 16, 2015 - HP to layoff between 28,000 to 33,000 workers
2) September 15, 2015 - GE to layoff 500 workers
These examples just reflect a drop in the ocean. IT companies are sending STEM jobs offshore left, right and center because they can get the same work done at 1/10'th the cost. So if the cost of getting work done in US is $100 per hour, the cost of getting the same work done at offshore is less than $10 per hour.
Therefore, it becomes very relevant to ask one self what are the future prospects of a career in STEM field when most of these jobs are being sent to offshore. STEM is a very dynamic field and the skills which are in demand today may not be relevant in 2-3 years down the line, so maintaining a job becomes really difficult as the countries like India/China/Brazil are producing STEM graduates in millions every year. Due to such a high supply, the salaries paid to these graduates are really low and thus companies find it much cheaper to get this work done offshore.
India/China produces millions of engineering graduates every year. Due to a high supply these engineers get a very low salary. Therefore, most of the IT firms offshore jobs to these countries to get work done.
Please share your thoughts if you believe whether a degree in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) field worth the time, effort and money so that students can take an informed decision.
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