Leading the way in bits and bytes

How Hispanic professionals can use STEM careers to influence future generations

According to the United States Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations are projected to grow up to 17 percent by 2018[1], up from 3.2 million in 2011[2].

Technology is key to business growth and development. This reliance on applied sciences has created a demand for trained professionals in STEM careers, yet many positions remain unfulfilled as the industry attempts to fill the gap between demand and prepared individuals.

In the past, Hispanics have been underrepresented in STEM fields and now many colleges and universities are investing in Hispanic student success in these areas. The University of Southern California recently received funding from the National Science Foundation to study steps institutions can take to help increase Hispanic students’ access to and success in STEM fields.

Hispanics are the largest, youngest, fastest-growing minority group in America[3]. Having more Hispanics trained in STEM fields will not only enhance businesses, but the positive development of communities as well.

Enhancing business

Technology plays an integral role in the success of any business including that of Northwestern Mutual. Information safety is an extremely important part of our business which ensures high quality financial planning services are delivered to our clients. The programs which help us write and send documents, calculate payroll, monitor equipment and creates efficiency in our business is exactly what creates value for our clients.

STEM industries continue to expand the way businesses operate. Preparing and training young Hispanics for technology-based jobs will help strengthen and grow companies.

Leveraging a generation

Paving the way for future generations will be key to the development of successful STEM careers. Schools are dedicating time, money and resources in an effort to raise awareness of the opportunities a career in the STEM field can provide.

Hispanic business owners and leaders can help drive the conversation by developing employee resource groups (ERGs) with internal representatives from the STEM field. This will enable companies to raise awareness internally, and provide a platform to influence external communities.

Future success

Ensuring future generations have a strong STEM background will help meet higher demands for skills in those fields.

Kicking off the conversation among our resources and connections can improve the opportunities young Hispanics will have to achieve success in the STEM field. In the process, we can help our businesses grow and communities thrive by connecting to thought leaders and expanding networks.

About The Author

Erik R. Gomez has been a Financial Representative with Northwestern Mutual since 2005 and is based out of the Mulroy Network office in Newport Beach, CA. Erik received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Business Finance from California State University Long Beach. Gomez continues to be involved in his community as a member of the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Orange County United Way’s Financial Stability Impact Council and is heavily involved at Santa Ana College. Erik enjoys surfing, as he lives in Surf City USA, and is an avid squash player.  His favorite role, however, is dad to his three children.

 

[1] “Economics and Statistics Administration.” I STEM: Good Jobs Now and For the Future, 2011. Web. 23 May 2014.

[2] “Intuitor Physics, STEM Related Careers.” Intuitor Physics, STEM Related Careers. U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2011. Web. 23 May 2014.

[3] “Hispanic Americans by the Numbers.” Infoplease. U.S. Census Bureau, 2012. Web. 23 May 2014.