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High school students got a good look at how valuable an education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics can be Wednesday night at Hancock College's Night of Discovery. In most cases, it can be measured in both dollars and job satisfaction.

Students got a chance to learn about STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — programs at Hancock.

Faculty, staff and current Hancock students provided information and led tours of the college's facilities, including the STEM Center, which is designed to be a hub for student learning. The on-campus facility offers free access to computers, study space, group study rooms, a library and wireless Internet for STEM students.

The students also got a lesson in potential career earnings. 

Research shows STEM careers are in high demand and pay more than non-STEM industries. A Department of Commerce study found that STEM careers earn 26 percent more than non-STEM jobs.

The study also found growth in jobs involving STEM fields was nearly triple that of non-STEM occupations over the last 10 years and STEM jobs are expected to continue to grow at a faster rate than others for decades to come.

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I cover Santa Barbara County.