The Northern Light

The pressures of choosing a math or science related career

Arushi Mithal, Staff Writer

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We have come a long way in sixty years, not only as a society but as a collection of individuals who are free to choose to do whatever they want, despite others telling them otherwise. In the 1950’s, job discrimination reigned terribly in America, and women were often told that they were incapable of joining the workforce. But now, in 2019, a new problem is being discussed: the heavy focus of math and science related subjects in education. Many people are forced to study things they have no interest in due to the tremendous pay amount and popularity math and science subjects have because of it.

Many girls are told that if they study science, they are contributing to the growing percentage of women in these fields, and therefore making society a better place. This pressure is not always good, especially if people are being forced to major in STEM related subjects when they could  empower themselves equally in other careers that they might enjoy more, even if they have a lower salary. The importance of choice in passion cannot be understated, which is why the overbearing abundance of STEM needs some reconsideration.

This map shows that STEM majors are growing quickly, but for how many of those students is STEM their passion? Chart by NCES.


According to https://www.idtech.com/blog/stem-education-statistics, “out of one hundred stem jobs, 93% have wages above the national average.” Money is a big deal, especially if people come from families who face poverty, creating a higher likelihood for them to be pressured into choosing a career they do not like. Our cultural movements which shape the future of our society, and focusing solely on STEM careers minimizes people who have a knack for artistic expression.

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