According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the dire predictions of a looming shortfall of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians is a myth.
You must have seen the warning a thousand times: Too
few young people study scientific or technical subjects, businesses
can’t find enough workers in those fields, and the country’s competitive
edge is threatened.
It pretty much doesn’t matter what country you’re talking about—the United States is facing this crisis, as is Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia, China, Brazil, South Africa, Singapore, India…the
list goes on. In many of these countries, the predicted shortfall of
STEM (short for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)
workers is supposed to number in the hundreds of thousands or even the
millions. A 2012 report by President Obama’s Council of Advisors on
Science and Technology, for instance, stated that over the next decade, 1 million additional STEM graduates will be needed. In the U.K., the Royal Academy of Engineering reported last year that the nation will have to graduate 100 000 STEM majors every year until 2020 just to stay even with demand. Germany, meanwhile, is said to have a shortage of about 210 000 workers in what’s known there as the MINT disciplines—mathematics, computer science, natural sciences, and technology.
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