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
acronym – an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word
pursue (pursuing) – to try to get or do (something)
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 for engineering. They’re pursuing careers in everything from healthcare and law to education and social work.
3. Fewer women are graduating with computing degrees.
4. Women tend to specialize in less lucrative fields (health and life sciences), while men are more likely to go into computer science and engineering (which tend to pay more).
5. Foreigners aren’t taking Americans’ jobs. Foreign students gravitate toward STEM fields like medicine and computer software design, which have some of the lowest unemployment rates.
6. The U.S. will be increasingly reliant on foreign talent.