STEM 4.7 Extrinsic Work Values: Job Security

Extrinsic Work Values

Refer to an importance placed on making money and having job security.

The belief that a certain career will guarantee job security in the future is a huge motivator for individuals. Therefore, it is important to note that the number of workers in Science and Engineering occupations grew from approximately 182,000 people in 1950 to 5.4 million in 2009. This represents an average annual growth rate of 5.9%, which is nearly five times the 1.2% growth rate for the same time period for the total workforce older than 18 years [1]. Even in times of economic collapse, STEM continues to see growth. For example, although growth in the Science and Engineering workforce from 2000 to 2009 was slower than in the preceding two decades, at 1.4% growth annually, it still far exceeded the 0.2% growth rate for the general workforce.

In addition, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 7 out of 10 of the fastest growing occupations requiring at least a 2-year degree are in STEM [2].

These statistics regarding the expansion rate of the STEM job market become more obvious when we see their visual representation.

As such, given the expansion rate of STEM-related industries, students can be confident that there will be ample employment opportunities.

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  1. National Science Board, Science and engineering indicators 2010 (NSB 10-01). 2010, National Science Foundation: Arlington, VA.
  2. U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Engineering. Available from: