Need for STEM graduates is indisputable
The Economic Policy Institute study presents a picture of America’s STEM-worker shortage and STEM-education crisis that is vastly different from authoritative research on this topic [“Study: Shortage of U.S. STEM graduates a myth,” Business, April 25].
Most researchers agree there are not enough qualified workers to fill currently vacant American jobs or the jobs the nation is expected to add in the future that require experts like computer scientists, mathematicians and engineers.
One flaw is that the study uses the category of “information science,” which includes librarians, social scientists and other professions that artificially inflate the pool of STEM workers.
The reality is the U.S. economy will produce about 120,000 computer-science jobs annually through 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, we only produce 40,000 bachelor’s degrees in that field each year.
After graduation, 43 percent of STEM graduates do not work in STEM fields. Furthermore, 46 percent of workers with a bachelor’s degree in STEM will leave their field after two years in the workforce, according to a Georgetown University study.
The need for more graduates in STEM fields is indisputable. Any look at the facts shows our nation needs to invest in and improve STEM education if we are to compete globally, now and in the future.
Beneva Schulte, executive director, inSPIRE STEM USA, Chevy Chase, Md.