Is The STEM-Need A Myth?

At a conference this summer I listened in on a debate between two teachers regarding STEM schools, specifically whether or not the U.S. needs more science graduates. As I look around my community, very few high science jobs appear to be needed locally; however, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a need.

According to David Sirota, who wrote this opinion piece, the need is a myth.

Sirota cites a “recent study by Rutgers and Georgetown University that found colleges ‘in the United States actually graduate many more STEM students than are hired each year.'” Thus, we have more than enough graduates in this field? The researchers believe this to be true.

He further states that “researchers discovered, many students are pursuing finance instead of STEM careers because Wall Street jobs ‘are higher paying’ and offer ’employment stability’ and ‘less susceptib(ility) to offshoring.'” So, students are entering finance-based fields instead of scientific ones? Apparently, research indicates this is true as well.

Liberal arts majors are still getting jobs. Education majors are still being hired. Social services still need people. Entertainment fields still hire others. I just don’t see a decrease in the diversity of fields hiring.

More importantly though, I have never thought that students should flock to a field based on a perceived need. For me, passion should win out. The love of a course of study should drive one’s future. Plus, basing one’s life on money sure would seem to lead one to a lack of fulfillment. Let’s hope love wins out after all.

3 thoughts on “Is The STEM-Need A Myth?

  1. johntspencer

    So true! I remember when I was in high school and they started talking about all these engineers coming from India and China and how we’d better kick it into gear if we wanted to win in the global economy and I thought, “Sheer numbers alone suggest that they’ll have more engineers. We can’t win. Why not find something else that we’re good at, like ruling the world through military colonialism, bland entertainment and transnational corporations?”


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