‘our nation’s march toward a more technical, STEM type workforce’

by Grace

The strong emerging professional, scientific, and technical job sector deserves attention from college students contemplating college majors.

New Geography labels this a trend ‘toward a more technical, STEM type workforce’

Although the professional, scientific, and technical industry sector makes up only 6% of the U.S. workforce, it was responsible for 10% of national job growth from 2010 to 2012. In addition, the broad industry (NAICS 54) grew by 6% in the past two years, which illustrates our nation’s march toward a more technical, STEM type workforce. There are over 9.2 million jobs in this industry, which is driven by sub-sectors like computer system design services and management, scientific, and technical consulting services.

That 6% job growth looks even better when compared to the anemic overall increase in jobs across all sectors during the same period.  In that light, the BLS outlook appears reasonable.

Among the jobs increasing at a healthy rate are Software Developers, Computer Systems Analysts, Management Analysts, Services Sales Representatives, Market Research Analysts, Interviewers, Interpreters and Translators, Advertising Sales Agents, Public Relations Specialists, Accountants, Bookkeeping Clerks, Chemical Technicians, Chemists, Surveying and Mapping Technicians, and Architects.  (Growth in the last two occupations is related to the geophysical services sector, perhaps with many in North Dakota?)

A few observations:

  • Lawyers are an exception in this category, having not experienced growth in the last two years.  With the glut in unemployed and underemployed attorneys, the outlook is gloomy.
  • Advertising sector job growth surprised me, and even the fact that it was included in this category was an eye-opener.  However, considering the growth of the Internet and social media, I conclude that this field is increasingly requiring specialized technological expertise.  I have a relative majoring in advertising, and next time I have a chance I’ll pick her brain about this.
  • Translation and interpretation services is the second fastest growing sector.  And here I thought technology was putting most translators out of jobs.
  • Most jobs in this sector seem to require at least a bachelor’s degree.  An exception is Surveying and Mapping Technicians.

There’s much more at the link, including information about geographic distribution and job descriptions.  Here’s one that was helpful for me.

Management analysts – Conduct organizational studies and evaluations, design systems and procedures, conduct work simplification and measurement studies, and prepare operations and procedures manuals to assist management in operating more efficiently and effectively.


More detail about industry sector NAICS 54, Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services – what is is and what it is not:

NAICS Industry Sector Description

The Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services sector comprises establishments that specialize in performing professional, scientific, and technical activities for others. These activities require a high degree of expertise and training. The establishments in this sector specialize according to expertise and provide these services to clients in a variety of industries and, in some cases, to households. Activities performed include: legal advice and representation; accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll services; architectural, engineering, and specialized design services; computer services; consulting services; research services; advertising services; photographic services; translation and interpretation services; veterinary services; and other professional, scientific, and technical services.

This sector excludes establishments primarily engaged in providing a range of day-to-day office administrative services, such as financial planning, billing and recordkeeping, personnel, and physical distribution and logistics. These establishments are classified in Sector 56, Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services.

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