STEM — the acronym for science, technology, engineering and math — has sparked a nationwide debate about education, gender, immigration and the future of the U.S. economy.
STEM jobs are growing at 1.7 times the rate of non-STEM jobs, and the U.S. is simply not producing enough candidates to fill them. Only 16% of high school seniors are interested in pursuing STEM careers, according to the Department of Education.
The Obama administration is investing millions of dollars to produce an additional one million STEM undergrads by 2022. But that would barely fill the projected shortage in STEM jobs.
I – Word Understanding
sparked – to cause to start
undergrads – college or university students
II – Have Your Say
Here are six things you need to know about STEM:
1. Kids need to get excited about science early.
2. STEM grads aren’t just important for engineering.
3. Fewer women are graduating with computing degrees.
4. Not all STEM jobs are created equal.
5. Foreigners aren’t taking Americans’ jobs.
6. The U.S. will be increasingly reliant on foreign talent.