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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Why STEM?

Why STEM?

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Innovations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are one of the forces that drive our economy and society. Ask many politicians and business leaders and they will say that producing a bigger STEM workforce is critical to our economic security and prosperity. - I was recently speaking with a CEO of a company that prioritizes hiring of scientists, mathematicians and economists because they are good problem solvers. They are creative, yet able to analyze data and trends. He told me that hiring those types of people is a very competitive process - he may only have a few candidates that are also being recruited by other companies. On the other hand, he adds, when we hire someone with a business background, we might have 50-100 (or more) applicants for a single position. - Payscale, Inc. released a report that ranked undergraduate college degrees by median starting salary and mid-career salary (w/o graduate degree). Seven of the top 10 majors were in engineering. The other three (economics, physics and computer science) all require a significant “STEM” background. In fact, every career in the top 20 (marketing comes in at 21) requires substantial science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics coursework. - So, is that it? We need to do a better job at STEM education to prepare kids for the workforce? This does not seem like a compelling reason for students that may not be intrinsically interested in STEM fields. - Why do you think STEM education is important?

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