STEM skills gap: Now is the time to act

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The demand for professionals with STEM backgrounds – meaning Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – is steadily rising. Currently, there are 1.4 vacant STEM jobs for every qualified STEM job-seeker. If this rate persists, by 2018 there will be a projected 1.7 million STEM jobs without qualified applicants to fill them.

Filling this skills gap presents an education challenge for the American job market. A recent article cites that “In 2013, there were 5.7 million total postings in STEM fields. Of those, 76%, or 4.4 million, require at least a bachelor’s degree, and 41%, or 2.3 million, are entry-level jobs requiring less than 2 years of experience.” To that point, only 28% of undergraduate students presently partake in STEM courses in college – even with an abundance of available jobs on the rise in these areas.

Yet, the STEM gap doesn’t begin in college; the fact remains that by the time job-seekers are in college or post-college, it’s too late to develop the necessary background to support open STEM job functions. As such, another route must be taken to fill the growing STEM gap – and it must begin early in the academic journey. To truly impact the STEM gap, students and educators alike must begin looking at earlier education for the foundation of a solid STEM background.

So, we have a solution. But does the majority of the American public know that this serious issue even exists? Does the public know that American children’s proficiencies in math and science are shrinking? And that only 18% percent of all college engineering majors are female?

If the answer to these questions is no, then how do we get the American public on board with early STEM education? The short answer is to educate our public on the STEM skills gap issue and what the crisis means for our future.

Recently, Adecco Engineering & Technology Senior Vice President Daniel Masata wrote an article for STEM Education News, a national digital and print campaign — featured in the Washington Post — which informs readers of the STEM skills gap crisis and offers solutions through a plethora of influential industry contributors. Alongside Daniel, the contributors include Will.i.am of the rap group Black-Eyed Peas and founder of the i.am.angel Foundation, which aims to foster STEM growth through education and community, Dr. Mae Jemison, Physician and the first African-American woman to travel in space, the Bayer USA Foundation, which provides philanthropic support and workforce education to a diverse population, and many more organizations and individuals who are passionate about this important cause.

Daniel’s insight and vast knowledge of the STEM industry are highlighted in his contribution to the STEM Education News. In it he educates readers on the STEM skills gap crisis and ways America can curb this problem through education, mentorship and community.

[Click here to read Daniel's article featured in STEM Education News.]

Is the STEM skills gap something you’d like to see filled? As Daniel Masata states in his article, “Now is the time for America to start getting serious about bridging the STEM gap.” Why not take action? We urge you to take the time to check out the STEM Education News campaign and share with your friends. It’s full of great ideas from experts, influencers and non-profit organizations, and is a perfect way to do your part in educating the American public about this crisis.

The technology landscape is always changing, always moving. Find out what kinds of technology skills you need on your team, how to attract these professionals, and what to pay them in our new “Build a top tech team” interactive clickographic.

At Adecco, many of our clients are optimistic about hiring and have staff augmentation plans in place. To get more information about how our staffing solutions can help in this job market and to sign up for our emails, click here!

Jason Provost About Jason Provost

Jason Provost is a Marketing Manager for Adecco Staffing USA's Attraction & Lead Generation team. Aside from his professional work with Adecco, Jason plays bass guitar, loves to cook and is a diehard Boston sports fan. Follow his insights on the Adecco USA blog!

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