Why advocate for military spouses in STEM specifically? STEM industries face their own, unique challenges, trends, and growth opportunities. Military spouses who work in these fields look for support, advocacy, and jobs that can lead them to fulfilling careers – while living within the military lifestyle. This is not an easy act to balance which is why we founded the Society for Military Spouses in STEM. Over 500 military spouses in STEM follow our organization.
Careers for Military Spouses in STEM
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM occupations have above-average growth, wages above the national average in 93/100 STEM occupations, and seven out of the ten largest STEM occupations are computer related.
When we overlook potential employees because they’re married to a military spouse, we cut their earning potential and career growth. These are people who worked hard for their degrees and are passionate about their industries. Our 2019 survey results of military spouses in STEM found that 90% of our respondents have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Military spouses are often stereotyped as uneducated and unmotivated. Our survey data showed that this is not the case. Of spouses who actively look for employment, 47% of our respondents reported it took them up to six months to secure employment after a move. Most military spouses PCS (move) every three years. This means that for every three years at a post or base, only about two of those are spent working before military spouses have to repeat the process.
Remote Work and the Military Spouse
This brings up the last point, seven out of the ten largest STEM occupations are computer related. The computer industry is going through a remote work movement. According to Global Workplace Analytics, “Forty percent more U.S. employers offered flexible workplace options than they did five years ago” and “Full-time employees are four times more likely to have work-at-home options than part-time workers.”
If we can keep our military spouses in STEM employed in full time positions, they are more likely to work remote. While that’s not ideal for all jobs, it is a step in the right direction to retain military spouses in the workforce. In fact, the top two categories most likely to telecommute are military and computer & mathematics occupations.
“We believe that the roadmap is in place to keep military spouses in STEM employed in fulfilling careers.”
We believe that the roadmap is in place to keep military spouses in STEM employed in fulfilling careers. Our mission is to help get them there. Here’s how you can help.
- Download our free Spotlight on Military Spouses in STEM (2019)
- Become a sponsor (know someone who would be a good fit? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Volunteer at smsstem.org/volunteer
- Donate at smsstem.org/donate
Are you a military spouse in STEM (active or retired)? Join us to be part of our exclusive community.