On April 10, I attended a Hearing of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, chaired by Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), where they reviewed the need to evaluate the federal government’s STEM investment to ensure it is helping students complete for jobs in these high-demand STEM fields.
By 2018 the United States will have more than 1.2 million job openings in science, technology, engineering, and math occupations. Yet there is growing concern employers will be unable to fill these high paying jobs because too few students graduate high school prepared to pursue STEM-related opportunities.
Many believe the United States will be at a competitive disadvantage if today’s students to not have skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to fill the 9.2 million STEM jobs expected in the next ten years.
“There is a widespread concern that our nation’s preeminence in science and innovation is eroding,” said Dr. Ioannis Miaoulis, President and Director of the Museum of Science, Boston. “Only 5 percent of U.S. college graduates major in engineering, compared with 12 percent of European students and 20 percent of those in Asia.”
The hearing provided committee members a chance to examine federal STEM programs and discuss ways to help improve ways for students to acquire these critical STEM skills.