The message studies and metrics are sending to the workforce both at the state and national levels is loud and clear — there’s a dire need for people with skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

To answer the call, the Menomonie school district is considering a STEM certificate for high school students as early as next year. According to a story by Dunn County News reporter Sarah Seifert, students would complete STEM courses, related activities and complete a STEM-based capstone project.

“We think we have an opportunity to be out in front of the curve with this,” Brian Seguin, director of instruction, told Seifert.

We do as well.

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CareerCast.com, an online employment site, recently ranked more than 200 jobs from best to worse for 2019.

“STEM positions — those in science, technology, engineering and math — continue to dominate an annual ranking released by CareerCast,” reads a CNBC pullout from the story.

Math fared particularly well, as the top job was data scientist; the second was statistician. Factors the study took into account included job environment, income, outlook and stress.

Engineering — biomedical, petroleum, aerospace, civil and industrial — took up five spots in the top 50.

“It’s crazy the amount of engineers companies are employing,” David Styer, Menomonie school board member, said in Seifert’s story, describing the certificate effort as “very timely.”

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According to CNBC: “The ranking shows not only continued demand for workers with a STEM background — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — but also widespread need by companies for help sorting the massive amounts of data they collect.”

Admittedly, STEM-related fields are not for everyone. The seniors graduating any day now have a variety of options as to what careers they pursue. Rankings on a jobs website shouldn’t dictate what avenue they choose, but it’s a valuable resource nonetheless.

The worst-ranked job on the list was taxi driver, with a median annual salary of $25,980 and anticipated growth in the field of 5 percent to 2026. Ride-sharing has significantly impacted the industry.

“Just because it ranks near the bottom doesn’t mean it’s not a great job,” Kyle Kensing, online content editor at CareerCast, told CNBC. “A lot of them are vital to our society.

“This just gives you an educated look at the challenges that come with them.”

It also provides a glimpse at societal needs, and school districts such as Menomonie that expose more and more students to industries in need of workers now and into the future should be applauded for their efforts.

Liam Marlaire, assistant editor