Missouri has thousands of open STEM jobs
COLUMBIA - There are currently more than 10,000 open jobs in Missouri that require STEM skills and there are not enough people to fill them, according to the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.
STEM education for K-12 students is one of the topics of the special session this week at the Capitol.
University of Missouri engineering graduate, Sabrina Kowalik, noticed the lack of STEM education when she was younger.
“I wish my high school would have had more STEM opportunities,” she said of her Kansas City alma mater.
Kowlik's passion for engineering started when she was young, but not in the class room.
“I’ve always grown up being interested in how things work," said Kowilak. "I was the kid who was always building something with legos my entire childhood.”
Kowalik said she saw the same problems with her peers at MU. Many got into STEM fields of study because of working with their hands when they were younger, but not because of classes in middle or high school.
Johannes Strobel is a professor at MU and a STEM expert. He said engineers like Kowilak create economic opportunities for others.
“Four-year degree engineer, when they stay here and contribute to their economy they’re not just sitting on a job, they're actually creating probably 10 or 20 more jobs,” he said.
“What drives the economy the most is not the ones that keep the jobs, but actually the ones that are in the sectors that create jobs,” Strobel said.
Kowalik is now a few months away from accepting a job offer and has three offers on the table.
“One of the companies that I have an offer from, business is booming, and they’re in full hiring mode,” Kowalik said.
She says so many companies have a lot of projects going on right now that they constantly need more people to fill those spots and work.
“There’s just so much going on right now if you find a qualified candidate people are going to be calling,” she said.