President, Applied Sciences Group
Back to School: A Discussion about STEM as a Career
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) requires long term education because technology concepts build on one another. A dozen or more years of schooling cannot reasonably be picked up through typical on the job training programs. Studies show if you weren’t stimulated or interested early in life, it’s extremely difficult to move into a technology career path later. Indeed, STEM education is an antecedent long before most careers in technology begin. It’s difficult, rewarding and more than anything else, it opens one’s eyes to the way the world works.
Scholarly articles refute the claim that there is not enough STEM talent in the U.S. But the issue at hand for many businesses (ASG included) is that there is not enough local STEM talent available, and really good STEM talent is even harder to find. This points to the real problem: There needs to be more advocacy for STEM programs at the local level and early age.
Some of these scholarly articles refer to letting capitalism solve the dearth of engineering talent through on-the-job training; but Science and Engineering requires lifelong devotion and concentration. STEM succeeds when both interest and discipline is stimulated starting at a very early age.
As such, we advocate advancements in STEM programs beginning in grade school so that students who become interested early get the support and discipline they need to overcome both peer pressure (an especially pervasive problem for young girls, a topic perhaps for future discussion) and a uniquely difficult curriculum. Science and Engineering requires early-age schooling, and it never stops throughout one’s STEM career.
This is strategic planning at its best and if we are to successfully pass the torch from the current and retiring baby boomer generation, we need to devote plenty of attention to STEM education today. Talk science; teach science; and cheerlead science. Talk to your kids and anyone who will listen about the importance that STEM education will have on our future and the ability for our country to remain the most innovative in the world.