New STEM study plays havoc with workers

The National Science Board (NSB) released a new report that shows that innovation has made it quite difficult to differentiate between STEM workers and non-STEM workers.

The chairman of the NSB, Dan Arvizu, reported, “We’re observing that this term we use, ‘STEM workforce,’ is really a nebulous term. As science and technology have…permeated all corners of our economy, the distinctions between STEM and non-STEM jobs in the workplace are beginning to blur.”

A STEM index sponsored by U.S. News/Raytheon showed that U.S. STEM employment increased by 30 percent from 2000 to 2013. Interestingly enough, these numbers “do not include jobs in non-traditional STEM fields that still require STEM skills.”

Some think that instead of asking how many STEM workers do we need, that we ought to be asking “what knowledge and skills do all of our workers need now and in the future?”

If academia starts to use this question as the basis for planning courses preparing students for future positions, it will greatly expand its offerings. Today there is such an overlap in technical requirements in most jobs that it is difficult to know what background the employee has pursued in order to achieve competence.

 

Quote for the Day: “There is always a moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” — Graham Green, The Power and the Glory

 

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