The STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) are believed to be the most unexploited fields of activity judging after their popularity and mass attendance. A lot of fuss has been made about these vital domains that are in true need of experts, since the technological means and programs seem to have taken over the manufacturing ones more and more. While many education experts believe that we’re facing a STEM experts crisis, other argue that this is just a myth. The main identified problem is that if the United States of America won’t push its students towards these fields it is in danger to lose competitiveness and the importance as an innovator because of its poor policymaking management.
On the one hand, STEM employees represent only 7% of the total workforce of America, as the current tendency is attending managerial boards once being over the age of 35 – so literally stop working in the domain as it is. This is the reason why STEM jobs are believed to only be effective for a period of 10, maybe 15 years long, after which the employee will most likely occupy a regulatory position in the organization or company he works for.
There has been a ranking made after some relevant constituting criteria, such as work environment, stress level and job position and the results show that, while it’s basically impossible to obtain the best ranking in any field, there are some favored positions, the first one being software engineer.
And because the anticipations made in 2010 about the way the fields are going to evolve in the next 10 years presume that only 14% of the STEM employers will focus on science and engineering and only 2% in math, it’s vital to constantly remind to anyone who decides to follow any form of higher education that a) a double specialization is never unwelcome and b) we very often tend to ignore the importance of analytical thinking.
And as point a) is self-explanatory for the most part (it is common sense based to presume that obtaining two certifications can help you to easily find a job), point b) needs some supplementary explanations. Architecture, humanist sciences as well as the medical field and any other domain of activity you can think of is constituted on computational thinking. It is, therefore, vital to invest in it in order to better perform in our own fields of activity. For instance, understanding causality is completely necessary for a doctor, as well as for a town planner or marketer. And the truth is, general knowledge and, globally speaking, pre-university education doesn’t stress enough on the analytical, critical thinking part. While proving a theory as being either right or wrong, some tendencies have to be analyzed, closely followed as well as some behavioral patterns have to be identified. But since we don’t work on this on a satisfactory level, even the easiest conclusions can take a lot of time for being drawn.
In conclusion, be it (or not) that STEM fields need to be occupied and a larger number of students should follow them, it’s essential to permanently encourage their attendance in these technical fields for a better critical thinking that can be exploited afterwards in the STEM domains per se or in any other activity fields. What’s being ignored during this whole debate about profitability and sustainability is sustainability and profitability themselves. Investing in a nation’s innovative processes and technologies, as well as in trend-setting actions has to be based not on pure happenings and fortunate series of hazards, but on strongly scientifically related processes that we have to encourage in every domain.