STEM Jobs Booming in Connecticut
Jobs in STEM professions—science, technology, engineering, and math—are projected to be the fastest growing occupations in Connecticut through 2030.
That is according to a new report from the Connecticut Department of Labor and the Department of Economic and Community Development.
The report projects 18,330 new jobs in STEM by 2030—a 16% increase from 2020.
Jobs in computing, engineering, management, and sales are projected to make up 57% of new jobs in the sector.
The report describes STEM jobs as “high-growth, good paying occupations” that provide a variety of career opportunities for workers.
And by 2030, they are expected to make up 9% of Connecticut’s workforce, just above the 8.7% for the national workforce.
CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said the growth of STEM jobs “gives Connecticut one of the strongest workforces in the country.”
“Connecticut is not a huge retail state,” he said. “When you look at industry demographics, a lot of positions are in STEM.
“So if STEM succeeds, Connecticut succeeds.”
DiPentima said that while Connecticut is on the right track, the workforce needs even more STEM workers.
Employers have felt the brunt of the lack of skilled workers, he said.
Eighty four percent of business leaders told CBIA’s 2022 Survey of Connecticut Businesses they experienced difficulty finding and/or retaining workers.
And 39% said the lack of skilled applicants is the greatest obstacle to growth.
“There’s tremendous potential in the job market,” DiPentima said.
“The jobs are there—we just need to develop the talent to fill them.”
More STEM workers would be a win-win for both employers and employees, DiPentima said.
“Not only are STEM jobs the fastest growing sector in Connecticut, they are among the most lucrative,” he said.
STEM occupations earned an average $103,214 in Connecticut in 2021, compared to $67,169 for overall employment in the state—a 54% difference.
And with over a quarter of STEM jobs in the critical manufacturing sector, employers could fill highly-skilled positions.
“There’s really no downside in investing in this sector,” DiPentima added.
Attracting people to the STEM field begins when they are young, said Shannon Marimón, executive director of CBIA affiliate ReadyCT.
“Engaging with K-12 schools and educators and bringing career exposure and readiness into classrooms absolutely inspires students to pursue learning in all fields,” she said, “particularly in STEM fields, where exciting, enriching hands-on educational opportunities exist.”
“The problems faced by Connecticut employers—particularly across STEM-based sectors—are very real, but the good news is that a very real solution exists in the backyards of most employers.
“Students have boundless potential and a deep hunger to see how their classroom learning can be applied within the real world.
“And by engaging with students early and often, employers are setting their future workforce up for success.”
DiPentima said that as the labor force diversifies, it is critical to grow talent pipelines and expand our idea of who can work in STEM.
He used General Dynamics Electric Boat’s Boat for Women program—which provides women an introductory course to manufacturing—as an example.
“Programs like that are what will drive the sector forward,” he said.
“We need to dispel the myth that STEM jobs are just for men, and show that women, underserved communities, and people of color have a seat at the table, too.”
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