Career Exposure at an early age is essential for career development. “Young children with a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics will go on to play an integral role in our nation’s global competitiveness and economic stability” (Kroeger 2016). Children can develop a strong foundation in STEM education if exposure begins at an early age. Children as young as five can be exposed to STEM careers and activities. It is important for elementary school aged children to have early career exposure to STEM and other career fields that are not common in mainstream media. Career fields such as supply chain management, environmental engineering, and G.I.S (Geographic Information Systems) are not commonly discussed in households and K-12 public schools. Even though careers that are associated with medicine and business are important, other sciences that are within the engineering and technology fields can be lucrative career options. The reasons for early exposure are; a child with early diverse career exposure will have a better understanding of career paths, the child will become more confident with their career choice by high school, and parents will be able to accurately navigate their child’s career path before college entry. Another reason for early exposure is to offset the national student loan crisis and the college graduate underemployment problem. Many students who graduate from college do not have a clear direction or understanding of the current job market. There are college graduates that are saddled with over six figures of student loan debt and are struggling with making the monthly payments. If a child is exposed to STEM or trade careers at an early age, the uncertainty of career direction and development will not be an issue by college graduation. Incorporating science into elementary schools will not only be an asset to our economy but it will benefit our society as a whole. A more educated and skilled society is competitive, economically feasible, and beneficial for future generations.
- Kroeger, J. (2016). The Importance of STEM Education in Elementary Schools. [online] FSU.edu. Available at: https://education.fsu.edu/importance-stem-education-elementary-school [Accessed 9 Mar. 2019].