STEM is not the answer if leads to repetitive unemployment resulting from unstable markets. This topic really about labor markets because all the education, training and accessibility is for naught if jobs are limited or not available.
It has been a firefight to stay employed in a STEM career. I started my career as a nurse but was not allowed to get licensed due to newly legislated physical requirements. Timing as today many of those physical requirements do not exist.
I Changed careers in (S) Science and move into chemistry but soon those jobs moved offshore and many chemists in the US were out of work. As a person with a disability it is difficult at best to compete for jobs when an industry is stable so when the industry workforce becomes unstable via off-shoring or other labor cost cutting measures, it is almost impossible to secure a job.
I changed careers a third time and moved into the (T) Technology field and eventually acquired another degree.That job field was gutted and continues to be gutted by the off-shoring or on-shoring with foreign workers for technology jobs. Many qualified candidates have left this field in droves.
I have considered changing careers a fourth time possibly moving into Engineering (E) but those jobs have been heavily impacted by off-shoring as well. I know of one PWD who committed suicide because they could not find work as an engineer.