New Study: Job Security Beats a Pay Raise for U.S. STEM Professionals

In its latest study 'How the STEM World Evolves' Specialist Staffing Group finds that US professionals value purpose, job security, and workforce diversity.

Sixty-three percent of STEM professionals in the U.S. agreed that keeping their current job or contract was more important to them than seeking a higher salary. Only 15% disagreed with this.

Top level findings include:

• Pay transparency remains a high priority with 86% agreeing that it is important to know that they are being paid fairly.
• 90% of respondents ranked personal purpose at work as something important to them.
• Commitment to diversity and inclusion also ranks highly among STEM professionals in the USA with 74% agreeing that this was a motivation in their career – the same percentage (74%) noted a desire to work for employers with diverse leadership.

In its latest market study ‘How the STEM World Evolves’, conducted with insight specialists IntelliSurvey, Specialist Staffing Group has found that Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professionals are seeking flexibility in work, and a sense of purpose, while pay transparency and commitments to diversity hold significant importance to STEM workers across the USA.

While pay remains important, job security and work flexibility are taking precedence. 63% of US STEM professionals consider job retention more important than pay raises. Just 15% of respondents ranked pay as more important than job security. Additionally, a massive 80% would choose projects that keep their skills up to date over higher earnings.

Personal purpose at work is now a driver for 90% of respondents. An employer’s environmental credentials or aspirations are ranked as important or very important by 70% of U.S.-based professionals. 63% stated that ability to work remotely was important for their next role.

Diversity and inclusion workforce ranks highly among US STEM professionals with 74% agreeing that this was a motivation in their career. The same percentage (74%) noted a desire to work for employers with diverse leadership.

On the launch of the study Sunny Ackerman, President, Specialist Staffing Group, said: “Our latest study ‘How the STEM World Evolves‘ underscores that STEM professionals in the U.S. are driven by more than their paycheck. Job security reigns supreme, with 63% prioritizing their current role over seeking a higher salary. Transparency in pay is also critical, with 86% asserting its importance. An overwhelming majority, 90%, seek personal purpose at work, while 74% are motivated by diversity and inclusion in their career. Our findings show a significant shift in professional aspirations, highlighting the need for employers to adapt and cater to these evolving expectations.”

On workplace wellbeing a quarter (25%) of respondents noted being more worried about their own well-being over the preceding 12 months.

Of all U.S. respondents in the 39% stated that they were likely to seek new employment, or a new contract, within the next 12 months.