Understanding of An American Dream

Pursuing a STEM career is a wonderful and readily available way to be financially secure and well-rounded in this rapidly modernizing world. According to a study conducted by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, a shocking “9 million STEM jobs will be added to the U.S. economy between 2012 and 2022” (McKinnon). Jobs are not always easy to obtain, but the large availability of stem careers may put some at ease knowing they have a chance to survive in this society. The world, not just the United States, has experienced population influx every year. Rising populations introduce a new generation of intelligent, competitive, and hard workers. Oddly enough, despite the fact that there is a huge job market for STEM careers, there is a noticeable shortage of workers (McKinnon).

Not only is it evident that there are many jobs, but the shortage of people filling these jobs is extremely promising for upcoming generations. STEM claims a spectrum of jobs, whether it be mathematics, engineering, technology, or scientific careers. The rapidly increasing job availability in STEM fields opens up a variety of options for people. Furthermore, according to another study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics the average minimum salary for STEM careers being around about $40,000, and the average for the higher end of the spectrum being well over $150,000 (Bureau). The median for all STEM occupations  being somewhere around $76,000 (McKinnon).

Men and women alike can easily live on this annual salary. So long as someone has a degree, they will be able to easily find a job within this bracket and support themselves and/or loved ones. Without a college degree, one still could find a career in STEM, but it may be limited due to their lack of education. STEM careers are dynamic, meaning the salary too is dynamic. Harder work and the presence of greater knowledge will further raise one’s salary. One of the great things about STEM is salary/outcome is directly proportional to the amount of work put in. Pursuing a STEM career is a fairly safe way to survive this world, while these same individuals work hard to improve this world. In addition to the surplus of job availability in this field, STEM careers also teach valuable cross marketable skills that individuals can use in day-to-day life. STEM teaches students to “think more deeply about how technology can be manages… build on their prior knowledge…investigate possibilities… learn more sophisticated problem solving techniques… and think systematically about personal, national, and global decisions, interactions, and consequences…” (Gomez).

Skills such as these are valuable attributes that employers seek when hiring people, and these skills are very common in the STEM curriculum. Members of the STEM community possess a variety of skills not limited to just their field of study. These members can then apply their critical problem solving skills in other aspects of their life. Not only does STEM benefit people economically, but common sense and logic influence their social behaviors.

Partaking in academic research, whether undergraduate or graduate level, benefits the student academically and financially, as well as benefiting mankind as a whole. An 8 year study at the University of Texas at Austin was conducted comparing freshman, sophomore, and junior level students that partook in postgraduate-style research to their cohorts in similar fields that lacked the postgraduate-style research experience. Researchers found the research experience decreased uncertainty and switching of majors, delaying completion of their degrees,  and increased graduation rate by 32 percent (Research). Students that are uncertain of their major or switch their major halfway through their academic career often suffer the financial baggage of their decisions. Students that decide to switch their major, unless it’s at the very start of freshman year before classes begin, have effectively lost hundreds -if not thousands- of dollars on a career path they will never follow with money they will never get back. This is too much of a reality for too many students. Research provides the student with hands on experience to determine what they like and do not like. This can help narrow down career choices early on, mostly eliminating the aforementioned problems. Furthermore, research or research related projects on a students resume will set them apart. Employers look for above and beyond students. Partaking in academic research, or even research on the student’s own time with a private company, is sure to make a serious impact on an employer or another colleges admission decision. In some circumstances, students can intern at facilities they wish to work at. When the time comes to apply, they have a better chance than those without the internship experience. Furthermore, research does not just benefit individuals, Devol Ross states, “Research universities remain one of the strongest assets America has to compete” in a society where our “economies [are] driven by innovation” (Devol). Research as a whole leads to advancements in knowledge, education, and technology. In order to survive in this highly competitive world, research needs to be cutting edge. To add to this, mankind as a species has reaped the many benefits of academic research. Humans would not be able to harness electricity effectively if it weren’t for Nikola Tesla, and other scientists in that era. Man would also be without a feasible knowledge of  the universe if it weren’t for Albert Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. As a species, we have a natural curiosity to explore. In addition humans also possess a duty to discover new things since no other species will. Research in certain scientific fields like biology or chemistry could lead to life changing breakthroughs that could greatly improve our life.

In addition to intellectually giving back to society, volunteering is an incredible way to give back and also receive mental, physical, and social benefits during the process. Kim Kreene claims “people who volunteer remain physically functional longer, have more robust psychological well-being, and live longer” (Kreene). These individuals establish healthy and meaningful relationships with the people they volunteer with and for. The act of giving back in such a profound way gives a sense of purpose and fulfillment to the volunteer. Furthermore, an AARP study reported loneliness was at an all time high, “with about one in three adults age 45 or older categorized as lonely” (Kreene). Volunteering with people who hold the same ideologies creates long lasting friendships. By working hard with other people for a collectively shared cause, relationships of a lifetime can be formed. Volunteering can be seen as a sort of formal social integration. It produces a sort of social network in which its patrons are closely interwoven. Such social networks “provide access to new information and opportunities” (Kreene). Working with a variety of different people introduces people to a variety of different cultures and ways of life. Each volunteer can bring their own experiences to the table, as well as learn important lessons from others. Volunteer work is an immensely humbling and character building experience. Volunteers have the opportunity to influence many lives, and in doing so, receive physical, mental, and social benefits.

Throughout the centuries, Humans have struggled with the idea of theology. Dominant religions wax and wane in and out of existence, but the fundamentals of organized religions exist to this day. By no means should religion be outlawed or prevented, but humans should begin to diminish their ties with organized religion out of a personal choice. To begin with why people should make this choice, it is important to examine the problems caused as a result of the existence of organized religion.

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