PAsmart is focused on ensuring Pennsylvania students and workers have the skills and abilities to meet the economic needs of the 21st century. Careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) pathways are growing. In fact, STEM careers are growing at a much faster rate than other occupations over the past 10 years. According to the PA Workforce Needs Assessment 2016-2026, there will be 590,000 new and replacement jobs in Pennsylvania through 2026, with STEM jobs growing at over 9 percent. STEM, health, and business majors earn the highest salaries (PDF), with graduates earning an average annual wage of $37,000 or more at the entry level and an average of $65,000 or more annually over the course of their careers. Currently, there are 17,787 unfilled CS and software development jobs in Pennsylvania(PDF) with an average salary of $85,000.
Only 23 percent of Pennsylvania’s middle and high schools offered computer science of any kind in 2016/2017; overall, only 2.1 percent of Pennsylvania students took a CS course.
View a map of the percentage of students enrolled in computer science by school district in 2017-2018.
Pennsylvania is also expanding Registered Pre-apprenticeships and Apprenticeships to pair classroom instruction with skills training for careers with family-sustaining wages. Apprenticeships play an important role in our local economy. There are 777 registered apprenticeship programs and 16,832 active apprentices in Pennsylvania. Nearly nine out of 10 apprentices are employed after completing their apprenticeship, starting with a salary of $60,000 per year.
In addition, Pennsylvania has also embraced the Next Generation Industry Partnership model to align education, workforce, and economic development to collaboratively support the overall competitiveness of an industry.
Through PAsmart, students, workers and businesses are collaborating to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have an opportunity to succeed in the jobs of today, while gaining the skills of tomorrow.
It is important for Pennsylvania to have a STEM-ready workforce to compete in a knowledge-based, tech-driven, global economy.
To meet this demand, Governor Wolf has championed the expansion of STEM education in Pennsylvania schools and created the Apprenticeship and Training Office to increase apprenticeship opportunities within a variety of industries.