Cutter Fellow Bob Charette’s 2013 assertion that The STEM Crisis is a Myth inspired quite a bit of discussion in education and industry, which has apparently not subsided!
In STEM Literacy and Jobs, wsj.com blogger Irving Wladawsky-Berger taps Charette for his thoughts on the STEM jobs “crisis.”
When it comes to STEM, the discussions have mostly focused on STEM jobs rather than STEM literacy, and in particular, on whether we have a STEM crisis or a STEM surplus–a debate I recently wrote about. A number of articles have pointed out that, as is often the case with such complex questions, both sides are right. It all depends. STEM includes a variety of disciplines, degree levels and employment sectors. While some occupations do indeed have a shortage of qualified talent, others have a surplus.
“Every year U.S. schools grant more STEM degrees than there are available jobs,” wrote Robert Charette in his 2013 article The STEM Crisis is a Myth. It’s thus hard to make the case that there’s a general STEM labor shortage other than spot shortages for certain specialized skills. However, “there is indeed a shortage – a STEM knowledge shortage,” he later added.
“To fill that shortage, you don’t necessarily need a college or university degree in a STEM discipline, but you do need to learn those subjects, and learn them well, from childhood until you head off to college or get a job. Improving everyone’s STEM skills would clearly be good for the workforce and for people’s employment prospects, for public policy debates, and for everyday tasks like balancing checkbooks and calculating risks. And, of course, when science, math, and engineering are taught well, they engage students’ intellectual curiosity about the world and how it works.”
Bob’s sure to help us all stay out in front of this important talent management issue. Read the full article at wsj.com.