It is not uncommon for parents to worry about their children’s future. It’s become harder these days to build a great life than it was 15 or 20 years ago, and there’s a lot more competition out there. Today, you’re competing against candidates from around the world for any job—even one in your home town. As the trend towards global teams, telecommuting and outsourcing grows, there will only be more competition.

All that translates into the need to choose career paths carefully, and in most cases, it’s essential for planning to start early.

A Different Breed of Employee

A few years ago, many people focused solely on their core career and specialty, to the exclusion of everything else. These days, top executives in any branch of business or industry are required to multitask. This even extends to activities such as coding, because computer programing has become such an indispensable skill in the workplace.

Technology has permeated every area of business, and there are many careers today that didn’t exist a few short years ago. As that trend continues to grow, it will become more important for people in every field in every industry to have STEM training.

Global Demand for Technical Specialists

As the trend towards technology expands in every field, so does demand around the world for professionals with STEM-based training and degrees. Countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand are actively recruiting foreign specialists in engineering, manufacturing, software development and more. This means a degree in a STEM field is very often a ticket to any destination you choose, anywhere in the world.

Undersupply in STEM Fields

The demand for technology professionals across the industrial spectrum around the world shows no sign of slowing down, and there’s a simple reason for that. There is a global under-supply of candidates who have the skills, training and experience to manage those types of jobs.

Many students who are entering the university and college system choose not to pursue engineering, math or science-based careers, because they are simply more difficult. However, in choosing an easier course in a non-technology field, those candidates are effectively eliminating many of their future opportunities.

The message is clear: choose the tougher field of study, and you will open doors. With the resources available to parents and students these days, there’s no reason not to do so.

The Parental Role

One of the major reasons that people opt out of the STEM fields is that so many tend to shy away from math, science, technology and other complex areas of study. Parents may be unsure of their ability to help their children succeed, or they may not feel capable of encouraging their children to put in the work that it takes to master these subjects.

The truth, however, is that STEM careers start early. Kids who love math, science, experiments and technology when they’re young grow up to be adults who change the world. It all starts early on, and when your children have a solid foundation in STEM studies, they can build the careers that dreams are made of.