Creating the next great technology innovations is crucial to the advancement of our society and the American economy. Unfortunately, the American workforce is crippled by a lack of experts in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), which is what we call the STEM skills gap. Since this week is National Engineers Week, we’re doing a three-part blog series on STEM-related topics. In part one, we examined the fastest-growing STEM jobs for 2015. In part two (this post), we look at the state of STEM in education and the workforce. In part three, we’ll explore a program that helps inspire middle schoolers to become interested in STEM disciplines through exposure to actual STEM professionals.
According to a 2014 report by the General Accounting Office (GAO), nearly all of the nation’s job growth between 2004 and 2012 occurred in STEM fields. The number of non-STEM jobs remained about the same during that time span. And while the percentage of students earning degrees in STEM fields has increased over the past decade, America still lacks the trained workforce to meet the growing job market. Looking at measures of academic performance on a global scale, the United States lags far behind other countries.
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