A majority in the United States believe that education in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) but many parents don’t understand the link between STEM subjects and jobs.

Parents Don't Understand the Link Between STEM Subjects and JobsThe Alcoa Foundation commissioned a study of parental attitudes about STEM education.  77 percent stated on the survey that they were “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to enter careers in manufacturing, but 67 percent do not see manufacturing jobs as a path to advancement. 21 percent of those surveyed believe that manufacturing and trade jobs come with minimum wage and no benefits or health insurance.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the average entry level salary for manufacturing engineers is $60,000.

The foundation cited statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce that show the average annual salary for entry-level manufacturing engineers is $60,000 and 90 percent of manufacturing workers have medical benefits. However, more than half of the survey respondents thought that the average wage was $15 an hour or less.

According to Eric Gearhart, special projects consultant at SkillsUSA, the results are not surprising.

“Changing public perception about technical education and adding economic value to employers and employees has been a long, uphill climb,” he said.
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