There is a growing demand for professionals that possess STEM skills, yet there is a decline in young professionals in STEM. To add to this demand, according to a recent article by Business Insider, there has been a forty-four percent drop in the labor force participation rate since 2007 that can be directly attributed to retiring baby boomers. Current trends show that this rate isn’t about to slow down anytime soon. The problem is that there’s more people leaving and less people entering the STEM field. Of the students that pursue a Stem major, thirty-eight percent of them won’t graduate with one. How do we change this? It starts with the young. Let’s look at the facts. In 2013,
- 56 percent of US high school graduates were not ready for college level math
- 69 percent of U.S. high school graduates were not ready for college level science
- Students who progress through at least Algebra II in high school are two times more likely to graduate with a bachelor’s degree
- 29: The number of countries whose high school students performed better than U.S. students in math in 2012
- 22: The number of countries whose high school students performed better than U.S. students in science in 2012
These numbers were reflected in the number of U.S. bachelor’s degrees awarded in engineering and science fields compared to other countries. In 2008, 31 percent of U.S. bachelor’s degrees were awarded in STEM related fields, compared to 61 percent in Japan and 51 percent in China.
- The statistics show that American students are not prepared to pursue a STEM degree in college. Young children are initially drawn to science and engineering, yet that interest quickly diminishes as they begin middle school. The facts demonstrate a problem in our public education. Over one third of public math and science school teachers did not study their subject in college and/or are not certified to teach it. Most of us can agree that if we weren’t properly taught something, we aren’t going to become passionate about it.Building a strong background in STEM skills for our children, teens, and young adults will provide rewarding and lucrative careers in their future. Our world is now technology driven; there is no impending decline in STEM jobs in the future. An education that integrates STEM skills into our classrooms will allow our young people to reach their potential in STEM at the college level. Young people are our workers in training.Paladin Consulting connects talented STEM professionals to exciting career opportunities. We are always looking for skilled professionals to place in innovative, new roles. If you are ready to take on a new opportunity, apply online today.