Through my recently created position as STEM literacy liaison, I’ve developed a deeper understanding of the great need for STEM education and why all teachers need to make sure their students are prepared to enter STEM careers. I thought it might be helpful if I gathered the resources and statistics I discovered this past year into one place that others could use as resource. Below are statistics, and links to reports, infographics and YouTube videos.
There were several great infographics published this past year on STEM. Here are a few of my favorites:
- How Do We Get More Students Interested in Math, Science and Tech Careers?
- The STEM Dilemma
- The Math-Science Shortage
- New infographic by USC MAT on Teach.com: American STEM Education
- New infographic: One in 25 Engineers in a Room will be Women: Let’s Change This.
- New infographic by National Environmental Education Foundation: STEM and Our Planet
National statistics indicate that the US must prepare our students differently for the global workforce than we have been doing.
- According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, in the next five years, STEM jobs are projected to grow twice as quickly as jobs in other fields. While all jobs are expected to grow by 10.4%, STEM jobs are expected to increase by 21.4%. Similarly, 80% of jobs in the next decade will require technical skills.
- The US Department of Labor claims that out of the 20 fastest growing occupations projected to 2014, 15 of them require significant mathematics or science preparation. The U.S. will have over 1 million job openings in STEM-related fields by 2018; yet, according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, only 16% of U.S. bachelor’s degrees will specialize in STEM. As a nation, we are not graduating nearly enough STEM majors to supply the demand.
- To put these numbers into perspective, of the 3.8 million 9th graders in the US, only 233,000 end up choosing a STEM degree in college (National Center for Education Statistics). That means only six STEM graduates out of every 100 9th graders. (The STEM Dilemma)
- When compared with other countries, the numbers are even more alarming.
Preparing students for STEM careers extends beyond ensuring that those students with STEM majors enjoy successful employment; non-STEM careers are also expanded through STEM efforts.
- In the report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5, the “National Academies Gathering Storm Committee concluded that a primary driver of the future economy and concomitant creation of jobs will be innovation, largely derived from advances in science and engineering. While only 4% of the nation’s work force is composed of scientists and engineers, this group disproportionately creates jobs for the other 96%.” STEM careers create jobs in other fields disproportionately.
- National data on racial demographics show great disparity as well around which students pursue STEM careers. The chart below, taken from a U.S. Department of Commerce report on race and STEM careers, Education Supports Racial and Ethnic Equality System, illustrates the disproportionate number of STEM jobs held by Whites and Asians in relation to education.
Share of Workers with STEM Jobs by Race, Hispanic Origin, and Education, 2009
- Similarly, women are underrepresented in most STEM fields as well. The US Department of Commerce also published Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation
- Students enter into STEM fields for different reasons. The results from a Harris/Microsoft STEM Perception survey showed a striking difference between girls and boys. This survey also emphasizes the need for us to begin STEM education early.
- The Level Playing Field Institute published a report Dissecting the Data: The STEM Opportunity Gap in California that offers useful information.
- New report: The Level Playing Field Institute published new 2012 report Dissecting the Data 2012: Examining STEM Opportunities and Outcomes for Underrepresented Students in California.
YouTube Videos: Here are some great videos that capture the need for STEM education:
- A STEM Education, Tools to Change the World
- Did You Know: STEM Edition
- Young girls created video to encourage more girls to join tech: Do you want to be a scientist or a subject?
And finally, H.B. Lantz does a nice job of summarizing these issues in his article, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education: What Form? What Function?
Would love to add other resources if you have them!