As K-12 schools attempt to close the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills gap, federal support for such programs is key. Under President Obama, there was Computer Science for All, an initiative designed to give schools support and funding to provide opportunities for underrepresented students.
After years of focusing intensely on college readiness, states are turning their attention to students' futures as workers, enacting a flurry of laws and policies designed to bolster career education and preparation. "What we're seeing is that there's been a shift from focusing purely on college readiness to thinking also about career readiness," said Jennifer Thomsen, who analyzes policy for the Education Commission of the States.
Courses, however, may not give students a full perspective of a STEM discipline. One way prospective students can get a feel for how much they'll like a STEM major is to get hands-on exposure. Those interested in computer science, for example, can try out coding through sites like Vidcode or Codecademy, says Korth. Applicants should also speak with STEM undergrads, says Blumeris.
Every dollar devoted to computer science education should be spent on professional development for teachers, said Hadi Partovi, the founder and CEO of Code.org. That includes “100 percent,” he said, of the $200 million the Trump administration has directed the U.S. Department of Education to spend on STEM and computer science programs each year.
ASTRA’s Executive Director, Dr. Robert Boege summarizes the 22 year legacy of ‘STEM on the Hill’ highlighting the impact of the annual Congressional Visits Day with its Exhibits and Reception honoring bi partisan champions of STEM and STEM Education. ASTRA’s Futurist, Dr. Ronnie Lowenstein spotlights the unique role of Global NetGeneration of Youth Cyberjournalist Teams (NGY) interviewing inspiring role models. At this year’s Congressional Reception and Exhibits, NGY Ambassadors represented five schools: T.C.
There’s a major IT skills gap in the country and it’s only expected to widen. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there will be 1 million more computing jobs than applicants by 2020.
In 2015, there were nearly 8.6 million STEM jobs in the United States, and that number is growing every year. In fact, STEM job growth in the past 10 years is three times that of any other field, but by 2018, it is projected that 2.4 million STEM jobs will go unfilled. Yet, STEM education programs have not kept pace–calling into question whether there will be enough qualified employees available to take on these new positions.
As schools look for innovative ways to bring in STEM learning, here’s a possible road map for how to galvanize a school community.
With the cost of attacks increasing, companies want to hire more cybersecurity professionals to help protect their information and profits. However, companies have only begun these massive hiring pushes in the last few years, so there is not an equivalent pool of candidates entering the field. In fact, most of the current cybersecurity workforce are seasoned veterans of the information technology field and are nearing retirement.
Hoping to nudge bright students toward degrees and eventual careers in cybersecurity, the FBI has deployed a pilot program in high schools nationwide, said Howard Marshall, deputy assistant director of the bureau’s cybersecurity division. The program, led by 10 different FBI field offices, encourages young people to engage in and study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).