The science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent gap has been a hot topic in education for decades. This topic has expanded from the need for STEM talent within those specific career fields to the need for STEM skills across industries.
What is the need for STEM talent?
The U.S. Department of Education shared that only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in math and interested in a STEM career. According to the 2018 State-Federal STEM Education Summit, “By working to improve access to STEM programs for underrepresented and underserved groups, America can close the labor gap that persists between good jobs and qualified workers.” A key takeaway from the summit is that prioritizing innovation and entrepreneurship will “prepare today’s learners for the jobs of the future.”
STEM skills are relevant in all industries
The need is not only for individuals to enter traditional STEM career paths, though this is the basis of the STEM talent gap. The skills acquired from STEM education extend beyond science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These skills include problem solving, creativity, tolerance for ambiguity and failure and much more. These skills are applicable across all industries and jobs, and setting students up to drive innovation and economic growth forward.
How to solve the STEM talent gap.
Closing the talent gap is a priority for educators and employers alike. One solution is to provide STEM programming for children and adults seeking to improve their skills. The National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) offers hands-on STEM education and professional development programs for all ages. NIHF has been a leader in STEM education for 29 years, partnering with over 2,800 schools and districts and impacting over 160,000 students through our PreK-12 STEM programs. In 2018 alone, we have provided over 47,000 underserved children with an immersive STEM experience.
How can you help?
You can help close the STEM talent gap by partnering with NIHF to bring STEM programming to your community, from after school and summer camp programs to professional development opportunities. Reach out to learn more or become a partner today!