STEM careers have long seen above-average job growth, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in scientific fields are still on the rise. Career opportunities in agriculture and food science alone are expected to grow by seven percent, while medical and environmental science careers are expected to grow by eight percent each. Texas, in particular, is one of the top states in the country for the employment of biochemists and biophysicists, conservation and environmental scientists, medical scientists, physicists, and more. A look at the Labor Market and Career Information page from our statewide partner Texas Workforce Commission shows education, training, existing career opportunities and future workforce trends.
Texas is a great place to grow up, join FIRST, go to college, and build a promising career with some of the nation’s top companies. FIRST in Texas does more than help students develop the skills they need to succeed in the sciences. It also introduces them to mentors and potential employers via our partnerships — which we will dive into shortly.
Coaches and volunteers are valuable members of the FIRST community as they become mentors and role models for the students. These relationships serve the participants for years, both directly and indirectly. As a coach guides a team toward success, students get to work with someone who believes in them and sees their potential. Sometimes those connections can lead to a college recommendation letter or an introduction to the hiring manager at a STEM company. As participants learn more about science, they also learn about the importance of networking. It’s no wonder that so many FIRST alumni return to volunteer at events or as mentors and coaches.
Our incredible partners are a huge part of why FIRST is so successful in reaching over half a million students in 2019 alone—35,500 of them in Texas. In conjunction with the Texas Workforce Commission and these Texas companies and foundations, we’ve supplied more than $8 million in team grants, allowing more students to get involved with FIRST. But we’re not stopping there. The more students we can reach and inspire with STEM education, the better it is for all of us. For those who feel inspired to study science in college, there are scholarships available—over $80 million worldwide—to alumni who choose a STEM major.
Science is an important part of many of our statewide partner’s job opportunities. FIRST program participants interested in science can learn more about those internship and employment opportunities from statewide and event partners like:
As a powerful bonus, FIRST in Texas is an opportunity for partner companies and participants to get acquainted with each other. FIRST participants get a glimpse of the many STEM career options available at those companies, and sometimes they have opportunities to apply for internships that may, in some cases, lead to long-lasting careers there. In this way, FIRST is an inspiration, a training ground, and a pathway for a future in science.