Obama and his administration have placed a huge emphasis on increasing the number of scientists, engineers and mathematicians graduating from US colleges. Reports conclude the US has a major demand for STEM-skilled employees, but not enough job candidates with the necessary skills to succeed in technology heavy fields.

Conversely, other studies state that there is no STEM shortage. These articles assert that there is an overabundance of STEM graduates which is why only half of STEM graduates find jobs in STEM fields.

Which one is true?

The need for scientists, engineers and mathematicians is real. The studies cited for the surplus of engineers fail to look at the increasing needs of all companies, only focusing on technology-centric corporations. Technology is currently advancing at an unprecedented rate along with social media. Every company, even if it only has three employees, must hire a technologist to accommodate with new tech developments.

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Science education can be interesting and inspiring like when I made nylon in freshman chemistry lab.

The US is currently 17th updated: 21st in science globally as of the new year. This indicates that the United States does not and will not have the workforce of talented STEM-skilled employees to compete with international markets. The best solution to this problem is to increase the number of people graduating with excellent skills relating to math, engineering, science and technology. With more engineering talent, the quality of developing technology and scientific innovations will increase.

Science and engineering education must be improved to produce more talented scientists, engineers and technologists.

Many STEM graduates make careers outside of traditional STEM jobs because they have competing interests. Engineers have an interest in helping to improve the world, but do not always find these job opportunities within engineering. Companies must improve current engineering work environments to harness and utilize the excellent education engineers receive in terms of both upper level science and engineering concepts and problem solving.

With an increased STEM workforce, the US will be able to compete with the international community to develop groundbreaking products in science and technology that will change the world. Students must be inspired to pursue science and engineering so they can develop the next computer, next artificial heart, next Facebook, etc.

We need more scientists, engineers and mathematicians. Encourage the children in your life to become one of them!

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