Jump menu

Main content |  back to top

What is STEM?

Almost everything about our world—all the things we do, touch and know—stems from science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).  STEM helps us understand the world and gives us tools to improve our lives.

STEM is everywhere—and it’s fun!

In the kitchen, for instance, you can use algebra to adjust a recipe. Chemistry can help you decide which ingredients to add.  You can use geometry to set the table and biology to tell if the leftover pizza is bad. Your microwave has energy to cook your food, thanks to engineering and robotics. After dinner, you can use the latest technologies to play video games or text your friends.  Even the music you strum on your guitar is based on math.

STEM = A Better Future

STEM can open the door to amazing opportunities in life.  If you are a student, earning a two-or four-year STEM degree gives you the power to find a better job, work at an occupation you love, earn more money and even help to change the world.

In fact, most well-paying jobs today require a technical certificate or college degree. And almost all jobs of the future will require advanced education. People with STEM degrees are in such hot demand that companies have a hard time filling these jobs.

A STEM degree is your ticket to opportunity. Don’t get left behind!

Live your Passion with STEM

Do you have a special interest – something you think is interesting or fun? With a STEM education, it could become your career!

STEM workers do everything from exploring the planet to inventing new technologies. They create video games and design beautiful clothes. Solve criminal mysteries and work in movie studios. Explore coral reefs and heal sick horses. Launch rockets and control remote robots. Fly fighter planes and even chase tornadoes.  All while getting paid.

What is your passion? Every day, people use lessons they learned in the classroom to follow their dreams. You can, too—but first you need to study STEM!

STEM and Economic Opportunity

A ready workforce of STEM graduates is essential to help the nation compete in today’s global economy. As manufacturing and low-skilled jobs move offshore, the U.S. economy increasingly depends on high-tech jobs for growth. However, not enough U.S. students are graduating with these skills.

All across the country, well-paying jobs in some fields remain unfilled because of the shortage of qualified employees. This shortage will only grow, as many of today’s STEM workers are baby boomers nearing retirement.

This means that STEM is a ticket to opportunity – and those without it will be left behind. Businesses and communities that can develop a deep pool of local STEM talent can capture a significant competitive advantage. That’s why it is important to support STEM educational programs.

STEM and Shell

At Shell, we depend on STEM workers to meet the world’s energy challenges. We need people who can harness technologies to see through rock, drill wells beneath two miles of water and produce oil and gas from the remains of single-celled creatures that lived millions of years ago.  We need their expertise to build refineries, invent greener fuels and turn hydrocarbons into useful products.

STEM workers balance our books.  Program our computers.  Manage our multi-billion dollar drilling projects.  They are also the entrepreneurs and suppliers who create the deep-water robots we use, build our ships and offshore platforms, and launch the satellites we use for communications.

Shell couldn’t do business without STEM workers. That’s why we are proud to support STEM programs for teachers and students.

Page Tools

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

  • Stem workers as a group earn about 70% more than the national average 1
  • The number of U.S. jobs could jump 17% over the next six years, compared to 9.8% growth in other jobs. 2
  • Although most good jobs of the future will require STEM skills, only 13% of U.S. college graduates earn STEM degrees. This is significantly less than in many other countries.3
  • U.S. high school students perform poorly in STEM subjects compared to students in other developed countries, ranking 25th of 34 in math and 17th in science. 4