STEM education statistics clearly indicate the value of enhancing the U.S. education system with these programs. Undoubtedly, STEM programs are in greater demand now because they are popping up all over the country.
Students Continue to Test Below Skill Level
Understanding STEM education statistics will help give a clearer picture of what the US education standards should include.
A study titled the National Assessment of Education Progress (2005), compiled statistics that indicate that forty percent (40%) of all students in the United States test at or below basic math level. Additionally, fifty percent (50%) of U.S. students test at or below basic science levels. Currently, U.S. fourth graders score well in math and science when compared to other countries, but they fall to the very bottom, if not dead last, by the time they reach 12th grade. A big part of the problem may be that thirty percent (30%) of high school students taking math and physical science classes have teachers who did not major in those subjects or are not certified to teach.
Current Workforce is Bias
Knowing the facts about STEM education statistics can help lead the country to a resurgence on the global technology front. A U.S. Department of Commerce Report titled Education Supports Racial and Ethnic Equality in STEM (2011), non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics each account for six percent (6%) of all STEM workers, but only eleven percent (11%) of overall employment. Another report by the U.S. Department of Commerce noted that women comprise forty-eight percent (48%) of the workforce, but only twenty-four percent (24%) of STEM jobs. These STEM education statistics clearly indicate a need to produce a more evenly balanced workplace to change these uncomfortable statistics.
Need for Certain College Degrees
Once again, the STEM education statistics highlight the fact that people with a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering have the highest starting salaries. The median salary is usually more than double that of the median salary of the total U.S. workforce (NSF 2010). It is also a fact that more S&P 500 CEOs have undergraduate degrees in engineering than in any other field.
Demand for Technology Positions
Significant advances in technology have produced nearly half of all U.S. economic growth in the past 50 years. The highly skilled people who have been doing this work for the Department of Defense and other technology companies are aging out of the workforce. By 2020, more than half of the baby-boomer generation will retire, leaving all those professional science and technology jobs open for qualified candidates. The STEM education statistics distinctly illustrate the fact that a new, science and math savvy generation will be in great demand.
The truth of it is that the United States is quickly falling behind in the math, science, engineering, and technology fields. It is essential to our position as a world leader and our national defense that we respond to the message that STEM education statistics convey.
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