You have STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Then there's STEAM, with the 'A' standing for arts. "We need to bring the arts into the STEAM because that's what's giving the creativity to be creative and to incorporate that into the STEM process," said Syracuse Schools Superintendent Jaime Alicea. But, that's not the feeling across the board.
America has more high-tech jobs available than we have qualified people to fill. That reality has prompted the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) to join the Trump administration's Pledge to America's Workers. As part of that pledge, the organization promises to create 392,214 new U.S. worker training opportunities over the next five years.
A research report from HDI about information technology in government, education, and healthcare finds that these sectors are ahead of all industry sectors when it comes to IT Service Management (ITSM) Maturity. The government, education, and healthcare sectors are under pressure to deliver in an environment of rapidly increasing technology spending.
Recruiting and maintaining a cybersecurity workforce is a complicated challenge for the government. According to the Information System Security Certification Consortium, 85 percent of cybersecurity professionals would consider leaving their current jobs. Information technologists do not need to search for positions that are exciting, respect their expertise, help them become more marketable and pay well because as many as 18 percent of non-active job seekers are contacted daily by employers seeking them out.
The United States is in dire need of a technically trained workforce. According to a 2017 report by the National Science Academy of Sciences we, as a nation, are not meeting the increasing demand from industries -- a critical component for competing globally in the 21st century. The need has been identified, but the solution can be a slippery one to define for several reasons.
Print textbooks are the eternal punching bag for the things people think technology should render obsolete. Technologists from Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs, almost a century apart, have predicted their demise. The newest voices in that choir come from Bill and Melinda Gates, who declared that “textbooks are becoming obsolete” in their 2019 annual letter.
With technology becoming a cornerstone of how many schools operate, the risks of getting hacked multiplies, and defending against cyber attacks becomes an important part of any strategic plan. A new report from the IBM X-Force finds attackers are drawn to the education sector owing to the sensitive nature of some emerging research projects and personally identifiable information on students, faculty and organizations associated with universities and schools.
As organizations worldwide continue to invest in science, technology, engineering and math initiatives, and as students take a higher interest in technical careers, you would expect the number of educational institutions responding to the workplace’s increasing demand for technical talent would naturally increase, right?
Overall, the study finds that many fields that support a significant number of U.S. jobs see little CTE course-taking in high school, suggesting the potential for greater alignment in these areas.
Students are also more likely to take courses in fields that support more local jobs, but less likely to do so when those jobs are high-paying, suggesting that today’s CTE is connecting kids with jobs that are plentiful but low-paying by industry standards.
There is no age that is too early to integrate STEM and space into the curriculum. There is a need for a younger generation to be able to imagine a future where space increasingly factors into daily lives. From an education standpoint, rather than being an afterthought, space needs to be a deliberate part of the conversation.