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The STEM Crisis Is a Myth

Soulskill posted 1 year,19 days | from the are-there-giants?-i-like-myths-with-giants dept.

Math 284

theodp writes "Forget the dire predictions of a looming shortfall of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians, advises IEEE Spectrum contributing editor Robert Charette — the STEM crisis is a myth. In investigating the simultaneous claims of both a shortage and a surplus of STEM workers, Charette was surprised by 'the apparent mismatch between earning a STEM degree and having a STEM job. Of the 7.6 million STEM workers counted by the Commerce Department, only 3.3 million possess STEM degrees. Viewed another way, about 15 million U.S. residents hold at least a bachelor's degree in a STEM discipline, but three-fourths of them — 11.4 million — work outside of STEM.' So, why would universities, government, and tech companies like Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft cry STEM-worker-shortage-wolf? 'Clearly, powerful forces must be at work to perpetuate the cycle,' Charette writes. 'One is obvious: the bottom line. Companies would rather not pay STEM professionals high salaries with lavish benefits, offer them training on the job, or guarantee them decades of stable employment. So having an oversupply of workers, whether domestically educated or imported, is to their benefit...Governments also push the STEM myth because an abundance of scientists and engineers is widely viewed as an important engine for innovation and also for national defense. And the perception of a STEM crisis benefits higher education, says Ron Hira, because as 'taxpayers subsidize more STEM education, that works in the interest of the universities' by allowing them to expand their enrollments. An oversupply of STEM workers may also have a beneficial effect on the economy, says Georgetown's Nicole Smith, one of the coauthors of the 2011 STEM study. If STEM graduates can't find traditional STEM jobs, she says, 'they will end up in other sectors of the economy and be productive.'"

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Math is hard (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730051)

Don't do it. You'll earn more having others do math for you.

Re:Math is hard (3, Insightful)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730175)

An understanding of some of the basic principles of "advanced" areas such as derivatives and integrals, probability and statistics, symbolic logic, set theory, etc., can prove invaluable in all manner of endeavours.

You don't need to be able to perform the calculations with the proficiency of a professional mathematician to realise the benefits.

Re:Math is hard (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730815)

An understanding of some of the basic principles of "advanced" areas such as derivatives and integrals, probability and statistics, symbolic logic, set theory, etc., can prove invaluable in all manner of endeavours.

So is an understanding of English, various foreign languages, history, psychology, geography, etc. What's your point? Most of the math you mention can be taught at an advanced high school level, or maybe a college freshman or sophomore level. There's no need to get a math degree for it (a math degree being the obvious inference since you only mention math subjects). Even sillier would be getting a bachelor's degree (or higher) in a hard science or engineering just to learn the math you mention. If you get a BSEE or MSEE, but don't work in EE (or some related field) then a knowledge of the practical applications of electromagnetics, semiconductor physics, etc. is no more useful than a knowledge of art history or English literature.

If the math you mention is so useful, why not major in one of the other subjects I mentioned, and get a minor in math? Or perhaps an associate's degree, which would easily cover the subjects you mention.

Re:Math is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730907)

> You don't need to be able to perform the calculations with the proficiency of a professional mathematician to realise the benefits.

Indeed, it is a good thing if you actually are able to do calculations. Or did you meant to say mathematicians are actually good at doing _calculations_? Isn't that beneath them if they can avoid it (that's what computers and assistants are there for)?
Or maybe you're from a parallel universe...

Re:Math is hard (1)

lq_x_pl (822011) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730415)

It is unfortunate you posted AC -- you may have meant this as a joke, but it is quite insightful.

Re:Math is hard (2)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730463)

Math is a set of problem solving tools, and like any tool, can be invaluable when properly applied. Like gaining insight into a logistical dilemma in a company's finances.

Re:Math is hard (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730483)

That's actually the sentiment amongst many young students. Why work hard at a STEM major when a business or law degree is likely to result in higher pay and higher social standing? Quotation needed? Ask students who are still deciding what to major in.

Around here, starting salaries for someone with a master's in STEM subjects is actually decent and on par or exceeding non STEM masters. The upward potential is pretty bad though, and in most cases you'll have to switch to management to improve your pay grade; there's few jobs for experienced scientists that actually pay well.

Re:Math is hard (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730611)

Math is easy, especially at undergrad/Masters level: you either get it right or you don't.

Almost all other courses are subjective, and depend on the whims of the professors.

Oddly enough, I've also found mathematics lecturers to be some of the most egalitarian in all matters other than mathematical ability. Maybe I've been lucky, but it's been beautiful.

Re:Math is hard (1)

ThorGod (456163) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730745)

Math is easy, especially at undergrad/Masters level:

I wouldn't call it *easy*, at least not the curriculum and homework I took. It is definitely egalitarian and the best lectures I've sat for were by mathematicians. It's a great field and I love it, despite the hurdles ;)

Re:Math is hard (2)

cold fjord (826450) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730763)

Don't do it. You'll earn more having others do math for you.

On the other hand, if you don't understand at least some math you may find other people making a great deal of money by doing math against you, e.g. casinos & the lottery.

degree != qualification (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730063)

Articles like this a) assume all STEM degrees are interchangeable and b) assume that possessing a STEM degree means that they are qualified to work in a STEM field. Anyone who's had to interview candidates before knows that's not the case.

Re:degree != qualification (5, Funny)

cookYourDog (3030961) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730083)

But I'm security expert! My University of MerryLand University College Institute Degree says so!!! Gibbe monies plox!

Re:degree != qualification (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730367)

+1 funny. If I had mod points today, for sure. +1.

Re:degree != qualification (5, Interesting)

horm (2802801) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730087)

Whereas it's practically accepted that just possessing an bachelors degree in Education means that someone is qualified to teach children what they need to know to advance in STEM fields.

Re: degree != qualification (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44731059)

The qualifications begin with a degree or alternative route program. Then you must pass an education theory exam (PRAXIS PLT), and a subject area or specialist exam (physics, math, elementary ed, etc.). You also spend a semester to a year as an apprentice, two to four years of on the job observation during which you can be fired or non-renewed for anything, and then you are evaluated every one to three years to help you grow or to identify and remove you if you are not performing to expectations.

Re:degree != qualification (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730251)

Just glance at the jobs offered today---excel spreadsheet specialist, java developer, database administrator, .NET, test engineer, etc., while all are technically "technical" jobs, they suck and nobody wants them.

Re:degree != qualification (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730331)

Just glance at the jobs offered today---excel spreadsheet specialist, java developer, database administrator, .NET, test engineer, etc., while all are technically "technical" jobs, they suck and nobody wants them.

I'd be ecstatic to take any one of those jobs! But unfortunately, I've never done any of those things professionally, some projects on my own and had only a class in Java - not good enough to get even an interview, I'm afraid. You need a couple of years of paid experience - so I'm told.

And as far as other feedback, I only receive the "You are not a fit." or "You don't have the skills required" or some other ambiguous rejection.

I wish someone would just say what skills I need or how I'm not a "good fit" so I can do something about them. But I've been unemployed for a long time (measured in years) and that, I'm afraid, is the reason now.

I can't even get a job as a fry cook at my local restaurant - they require 5 years of line cook experience and the same 5 years of experience for wait staff. My local McDonald's want bi-lingual people. They pay well though - $8/hr.

That's pretty sad. I now think $8/hr is good. I used to make $61/hr back in the day her in Alpharetta.

I don't have money to start a business - let alone buy the computers and devices necessary to develop apps.

Re: degree != qualification (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730547)

The city of alpharetta has collectively decided to reduce wages in order to pay for Lamborghinis. Math

Re:degree != qualification (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730645)

Over 50% of jobs are got through networking.

Capitalism's not just about financial capital: it's about intellectual (you might have this) and social (many geeks don't have this, although the stereotype's changed).

I happen not to like the way things work, but this is how they work.

Re:degree != qualification (4, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730341)

No they just face reality which is for the past 40 years we've been faced with a concerted effort to turn America into a third world country that speaks English.

Look at the student loan bubble which will soon burst, kids having to enslave themselves for life with debt they can't even discharge through bankruptcy (but the corps sure don't have any trouble discharging THEIR debts) just in the (in most cases) vain hope to rise above grinding poverty only to find that instead of that degree giving them a ticket out of poverty it instead ties a millstone around their neck because they can get an Indian or Chinese for less than the interest he is paying on his loans. Think if you tried the reverse and organized a mass immigration to India or China they would accept you taking THEIR jobs? Not a chance in hell because both countries are "nationalist" which is a code word for "Not fucking retarded and whored out to the megacorps".

For the past several decades you have seen the top 5% go from controlling 45% of this country's wealth to over 82% (and its been a couple years since i checked, probably higher than that now) and the reason for that is shit like this and "How NOT to hire an American" which for those who haven't seen it you should really look up the video, its a confidential law firm lecture on how easy it is for them to help these corps make sure they ONLY hire foreign workers. Time and time again you see the revolving door between DC and the corps and you see the future of America being sold to the new robber barons, refusing to accept that while the far east will have an abundance of skilled workers coming up with the next revolutions in tech we are increasingly becoming like the third world, huge ghettos of grinding poverty with the elite in their gated communities down the street living as Gods.

But massive change is coming folks, if you want to see the future look to the east, look at what has happened all over the middle east with the so called "Arab Springs" which should rightly be called class warfare as the poor refuse to be stomped on and rise up against the elite that have ruled them for so long. The reason you will see a similar event here, and why there hasn't been one so far here is because there is a MASSIVE stock market bubble [youtube.com] and part of that bubble has been used by the government to provide "bread and circuses" to the poor so they do not revolt. Oh and before the right wing chime in on how its all the fault of the current figurehead? Might want to look at the graph at around the 3.30 mark and see when the bubble started really blowing up, the date is in the mid 80s, specifically when Ronnie Raygun signed the 401K and 403B programs into law. What that did was pour billions upon billions into the stock market, inflating the "value" of stocks to true insanity levels and causing an entire industry to be born just around leeching some of that "wealth" and manipulating it.

So why is it doomed, and guaranteed to make the 29 crash look like a flash crash? Simple in their infinite greed and lust for ever higher profits the corps didn't bother to think what would happen when they fired all the American workers and replaced them with cheap labor, what happened was the birth of the "temp nation" and money from 401Ks and 403Bs dropped like a stone. After all that temp worker barely keeping a roof over his/her head certainly isn't sticking money in a 401K. Because "privatize profits, socialize costs" is practically the mantra of Wall Street they ran to mommy government who likewise wasn't bringing in the dough, again because the middle class was gutted and because those at the top pushed the "job creators" myth and lowered taxes while increasing spending, but have no fear, The Federal Reserve is here!

But you can't print your way out of a dead end, and you can't expect Americans paying over $100K for their education to be able to compete with somebody who paid less for a master's than we do for a new Mustang so the money? Not being replaced. Just to make sure we go over the cliff are the what I call "neocon libertarian" wing, like Grover Norquist actively threatening ANY lawmaker who dares go against his "No new taxes on the 5% EVAR!" pledge and the simple fact is the poor and nearly extinct middle class simply do not have any money to tax, you have nearly half the population living on the dole just to survive and the bottom 80% put together just don't have the wealth, its all be siphoned away to those at the very top of the food chain.

So when other countries stop having faith in an infinite number of Yankee Dollars (which they will) and stop taking them you'll see the whole thing come crashing down, what do you think that 47% is gonna do when their checks don't come on the first? Quietly go crawl off and die? Nope this whole house of cards will come crumbling down. The H1-Bs that are smart will have gotten the hell out of Dodge before then and taken their education and training with them so what you'll be left with is a handful of uber-rich hiding in their homes and endless masses of pissed off poor people.

Sorry about the length, some subjects just don't fit into soundbytes. I wonder if this is why all empires seem to fall apart in roughly the same amount of time? Is there simply no way to keep those at the top from tilting things more and more in their favor until the whole thing collapses? Frankly if I were a South American I'd be worried, heavily militarized countries rarely go silently into that good night (The USSR wasn't really a country so much as a lot of little countries forced into the USSR by Moscow) and frankly it wouldn't take much to appeal to the growing resentment of illegals with a false flag or two. But I honestly don't have much hope for the current system and if it lasts until 2025 I'll be amazed, not only is the corruption too deep but our young are seeing that there are less and less fields they can become educated in that won't leave them worse off than they are now and with the manufacturing and now more and more technology sectors gone? There just won't be any way to pull ourselves back up, not like anybody is gonna want to import broke un/undereducated Americans.

Re: degree != qualification (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730827)

What, a bunch of capitalists are perpetuating a myth that will result in lower wages and worse bargaining positions for the people they try to avoid hiring in the first place? I'm shocked, tell you!

Seriously, the only thing shocking about all this is that it's taken so long for so many to figure out the lies of unfettered free trade, essentially (despite propaganda to the contrary) unregulated capitalism, and the other greedy excesses that have resulted from the class warfare of the rich vs. the poor. The lies are starting to break down now as the corporate propaganda machines are having a harder and harder time convincing people they're doing well when they're not, and the resut of course is ever harsher laws, general spying on everybody lest they actually communicate and organize, and the usual mix of crap that makes necessary change unnecessarily violent eventually.

The wealthy capitalists seem to believe they're as magically exempt from the social consequences of their behavior as they are legally exempt from it due to their purchased laws and fake, ineffective "regulations" masquerading as impediments to their business (when they really only impede new ideas and competiton, by design). They are, however, at the point of believing their own propaganda. History shows what happens to societies that reach that stage. At least we're starting to figure out where the blame goes.

Re:degree != qualification (4, Interesting)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730891)

So when other countries stop having faith in an infinite number of Yankee Dollars (which they will) and stop taking them you'll see the whole thing come crashing down

If someone has something the US wants to buy ( like oil ) then they'll just be bombed till they do. Soon enough the powers that be will realize this ( they already have ) and just take the dollars and accept living like the kings they are *within the system*. If you have power, do you ally with the winning side, or do you attempt to find a coalition of those being shat upon? If you have power, you personally aren't being shat upon, because you rationally sell out. It's those with no power who are being shat upon - the poor. So who exactly is there to oppose power?

Macheavellii would say that it's always better to ally with the weaker side because it increases your leverage and prevents you from becoming someone's bitch, but do you really CARE if you are someone's bitch? I mean who wouldn't rather be a billionaire than a king? You get all the perks without the stress/risk/culpability

And the fact is, most humans are redundant. The world is going through a sea change as big as the one that caused an end to serfdom and brought forth the enlightenment and the rights of man. Instead of people being valuable b/c of megadeath caused by the black plague, and new untapped worlds opening up around the world begging for humans to take advantage the world is filling up. Stuff is more valuable than people. Now that humans are not valuable, they will be treated worse than before. I wouldn't be surprise to see a rolling back of the gains made since the middle ages. Only megadeath would seem to have a chance of making humans more valuable relative to things.

UC Davis' Gregory Clark has some iteresting insights about this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvZlXaGEzwg&list=PLmq9H75aU8iNWq2oXfH2y82yH1HzaITpa [youtube.com]

Also, technology during the industrial revolution pushed human labor into pursuits that could not be mechanized. With thought itself more and more mechanizable, what is left for humans? http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-krugman-articles-about-robots-2012-12 [businessinsider.com] ?

Paris Hilton is very productive. ( in the economic sense where work done with a backhoe is more productive than work done with a hand shovel ) Her labors are mixed with a very high level of capital. And what do those labors consist of? Merely not losing her money. Does she need to be superior in any way to perform her duties? is there any meritocracy going on? Well...

She can and likely does hire a finanacial planner. Brains are a dime a dozen.

She buys $40,000.00 purses. So at first glance it would seem she does a poor job at not losing her money. But she can afford $40,000.00 purses. That doesn't realy represent substantial consumption. Giving away half her money to someone who's never had money would involve *massive* consumption. If she gave me half her wealth, I would probably give half of it away to people I know who would also spread the wealth themselves etc. This would cause *millions* of dollars in consumption. A $40,000.00 purse is nothing.

So it seems Paris Hilton is far better qualified than I to be wealthy.

But isn't it weird that she doesn't have to do anything but not consume?

All she needs to do to not give away her wealth is insulate herself from need and the temptation to give it all away. That is, she need only stay amongst the her own kind and not mingle with the peasants.

Societies that support this tendency win out militarily because those societies with the most capital will be able to field the most fearsome militariy might including robotic military might. There is no reason to suppose that without valuable labor to parlay into means to consume, that most humans will have franchise in the future. As human endeavor becomes worth less humans will perish.

And robots should they come to mainly comprise the military, work against the naturally democratizing nature of military power which is that if the military comes from the peasantry then they will not kill the peasantry. It's no accident that the nobility WAS the military in the middle ages. It's the most efficient way to keep power in the hands of the fewest consumers. Technology would seem likely only to increase the levereage power can concentrate with. How few could actually run the world? Maybe someday zero.

But it's also likely that with concentrated power technological progress would slow.

The concentration of wealth and power leads to monopolies. And monopolies maximize profit, not production. This may actually be 'greener' than the alternative where production is maximized. The forests of Europe still have game. Would this be the case if they weren't owned by the nobility?

With the world divided amongst powerful monopolies who would have the incentive to disrupt things with new technology?

Re:degree != qualification (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730349)

No, it's not a misconception.
Degree is EQUAL with qualification. Just ask anyone who ever went job hunting.

Re:degree != qualification (2)

w_dragon (1802458) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730675)

My first thought as well. I also know people who have STEM degrees, worked in the field for a year, and decided it wasn't for them. I know a lot that have moved up to management or project management, do they still qualify as STEM workers?

STEM or VISA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730091)

This is all about four letters, but they're not 'STEM'. These ridiculously large and enormously profitable companies want to import workers at much lower wages and hold them hostage by controlling their immigration status in the US.

"Woe is me, woe is us, we can't get the workers we need." I call bull shit. Stop trying to fuck over the people you want to sell your products to, or sell as your products to your advertisers. If no one earns enough to buy your shit, who the fuck are you then?

Re: STEM or VISA? (2)

simonbp (412489) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730169)

That's the problem with grouping science and engineering together. A shortage of engineering jobs means the market is saturated. A shortage of science jobs means that Congress and the President cut the science budget again. The two are not nessisarily related.

Re: STEM or VISA? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730277)

Correction: a shortage of engineering jobs means that manufacturing and design have been offshored.

and the moral is (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730095)

don't bother doing anything hard kids, take a 'media studies' degree, 'cos you'll end up sweeping streets anyway. In fact, forget the degree - go straight to an industry apply to be an apprentice or intern and then work your way through its hierarchy by diligence, and/or brown-nosing.

Then, in 20 years time, you can turn around to anyone who asks "what became of America, why is it such a useless 3rd world country now when it was so great back in the 50s", you can give them the answer before telling them to get off your lawn.

Re:and the moral is (1)

slick7 (1703596) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730447)

You are better off going to college, amassing an enormous debt load, then competing with questionabe foreingners for a technical McJob that will allow you to pay down your student loan in 2 million years at 12 times the original amount? That sure sounds like bankster math to me.

Re:and the moral is (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730637)

very insightful +1

yeah, sure, you betcha! (5, Insightful)

mark_reh (2015546) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730099)

'they will end up in other sectors of the economy and be productive."

That may be true (STEM grads probably have functioning brains), but is a STEM education an efficient way to train greeters at Walmart or burger flippers? A STEM education IS good at creating a new crop of student loan slaves every year...

Re:yeah, sure, you betcha! (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730321)

'they will end up in other sectors of the economy and be productive."

That may be true (STEM grads probably have functioning brains),

So you're saying they have an actual brainstem?

Re:yeah, sure, you betcha! (1)

Livius (318358) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730541)

Driving a taxi or cooking French fries are, technically, productive contributions to the economy.

(Banking, although necessary, is not actually productive in an economic sense.)

Re:yeah, sure, you betcha! (3, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | 1 year,19 days | (#44731009)

Driving a taxi or cooking French fries are, technically, productive contributions to the economy.

Not just "technically", but in a very real and productive sense. I, and many other people I know, have hailed cabs or ordered fries, and been willing to pay for it, without the slightest coercion.

Banking, although necessary, is not actually productive in an economic sense.

Banking is productive to the extent that it provides useful financial services. However, the fact that the percentage of GDP devoted to it has doubled, while the additional "production" has been extravagant pay, scams, and financial crises, says that the additional costs of banking have not been productive.

Re:yeah, sure, you betcha! (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730587)

Huh? I'd say STEM is one of the safer bets to avoid loan slaving, though it's the school that does it, not the degree. I sunk only ~ $15,000 for a BS in Mathematics, which is hefty for somebody entering the job market, but it's definitely payable. Given all the research grants, co-op opportunities, teaching positions, and fellowships, it's doable to go through STEM grad school accumulating little to no debt at all. The trick is to start prepping for industry/research early on. And network. And for the science-related fields, research.

Re:yeah, sure, you betcha! (1)

fermion (181285) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730591)

Certain stem degree does mean that you can compete. The highest LSAT score comes from phyics/math majors with engineering being a close second. Prelaw is one of the lowest. Math and physical science tend to the be highest scores on the MCAT. Premed tends to be the lowest.

I have said this before. A good stem education, which means that you are well versed in the physical sciences, math including linear algebra and calculus, the engineering process with a good understanding of mechanical and electrical systems, and able to use technology to leverage your abilities, will prepare you for whatever jobs you need to take in the future. Not the job right out of college or high school, any intelligent hard working person is going to make decent money in his or her 20's and maybe even 30's. Such an education will prepare you for the mid and end or career jobs and changes in career jobs that inevitable for many of us in a world where technology means jobs may not even last a generation. When I was in school we still had a teletype, and now we have mobile platforms. Wow.

The thing is that this was even known when I was in school. Parents were told that we were being prepared for high paying engineering jobs that were in abundance, because that is what parents want to hear. That their kids are guaranteed a high paying job. And this is true, at least where I grew up, where everyone I know, even from low ranking colleges, ended up with a job after they graduated engineering school. But to the students we were told that even if we did not end up in engineering, which many of us did not, this was one of the best possible preparations for college and jobs. And that was correct, although for me with a stem education I was much better prepared to get a tech job than easily succeed in college. But I am one data points, and many of my friends did very well in college.

I think that so many people are against funding a stem education because it does not create employees, or customers, for Walmart. It does, however, create people who can go and, like me and many people I know, even if a job is not available, can use their skills to hustle for a job. That is compete well in the market place and succeed. With widespread STEM opportunities, and I am not fan of that term BTW, we can capture the students with drive, motivation, and talent and focus their efforts on making the world a better place. Instead of just having them trinkets that no one needs.

Re:yeah, sure, you betcha! (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730965)

Certain stem degree does mean that you can compete.

But not necessarily in English composition.

The highest LSAT score comes from phyics/math majors with engineering being a close second.

Law requires aptitude in English.

BTW, I normally don't pick on people's grammar, but waxing ecstatic about the virtues of STEM degrees for non-STEM careers is like painting a bull's eye on your chest. My apologies if you've not long been using English as a primary language.

More importantly, you've cited a correlation between undergraduate major and success (at least on standardized tests) in other fields but, as can't be repeated too often, correlation does not demonstrate causation. Do physics and math majors have the highest LSAT scores because of their education, or because the type of people who'll do well on the LSAT's gravitate towards such undergraduate majors?

everyone I know, even from low ranking colleges, ended up with a job after they graduated engineering school

You're living in a different time or place. That was true when I graduated too, but times have changed.

I think that so many people are against funding a stem education because it does not create employees, or customers, for Walmart.

Nonsense. Plenty of STEM Ph.D.'s are employed in such work. I understand that Walmart is considering increasing the minimum educational requirements for all "associates" from a bachelor's to a master's.

They do get lucrative jobs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730659)

Several of my former students have earned engineering degrees and found gainful employment - in the banking sector. What do you think is happening to Wall Street? High speed, low latency trades programmed in assembly on Linux. Flash crashes. Goldman Sachs halting the NASDAQ. Complicated derivatives that screw everyone except for the investment banker.

There's your STEM graduates hard at work!

Re:They do get lucrative jobs! (3, Informative)

mark_reh (2015546) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730721)

The original quote included the word "productive".

Hanlon's Razor (5, Insightful)

dutchd00d (823703) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730113)

Clearly, powerful forces must be at work to perpetuate the cycle

Wow. I do believe a dose of Hanlon's Razor [wikipedia.org] is in order here.

Re:Hanlon's Razor (5, Funny)

Compact Dick (518888) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730205)

Clearly, powerful forces must be at work to perpetuate the cycle

Wow. I do believe a dose of Hanlon's Razor [wikipedia.org] is in order here.

Exactly what the powerful forces want us to believe.

Re:Hanlon's Razor (1)

professionalfurryele (877225) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730405)

Hanlon's Razor doesn't really work when each individual entity has a reason to be malicious. Don't rule out malice after all.

Re:Hanlon's Razor (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | 1 year,19 days | (#44731091)

Hanlon's Razor is absolutely essential in understanding things. It's because three can keep a secret if two of them are dead.

It's not all one field (5, Interesting)

JanneM (7445) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730123)

You can easily have an abundance of STEM people overall, and yet have a shortage of people in specific fields. The shortage is of course most likely in new and in growing fields, while surpluses are most likely in old and settled, or declining areas.

So, mismatch can easily explain the discrepancy without ascribing malicious intent to anybody (which is not to say there is none). Instead the problem really is the tension between learning a field and training for a specific job.

Seems US and European corporations are more and more insistent on finding workers that fit right into a specific job with little to no training*. Which seems good in the short term, but people with mostly job-specific training will have a much harder time retraining for a different kind of job when the winds inevitably change. They'll act as anchors for their employers, and collectively reduce the pool of qualified replacements if or when their employers decide to kick them to the curb.

I suspect that this practice is in fact bad in the short term as well; but since the effects across the life cycle of an employee are felt in very different parts of an organization it's not a waste that any one person will normally notice.

* Japanese corporations, on the other hand, go overboard in the other direction. They hire mostly or only new graduates for any career jobs, and you - and the company - generally don't even know what you will actually be doing once you start. They want to hire blank slates they can train and mold as they see fit.

Re:It's not all one field (1)

Mateorabi (108522) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730477)

At some point the divisions become so specialized, the sub-disciplines so fractal [xkcd.com] , that no college degree nor previous job is going to fully prepare you. At some point the companies have to stop being whiny and hire someone "merely" trainable and invest time to train them in-house. An unwillingness to do this, and a unrealistic expectation for STEM to produce them whole-cloth, being one of the several reasons for the "shortage."

Re:It's not all one field (1)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730537)

Yet both approaches seen to result in companies that work. The Japanese system builds in institutional memory. Perhaps too much in some cases. But the American system is wasteful too. You're constantly training new people at every career level here because they come from another company and sometimes another branch of industry and have to learn fundamentals. Other companies are constantly cherry-picking your most productive workers and bringing them into their companies where they are less productive for a while because they're learning systems and technology that are new to them.

I work now in a medium sized company. Every time we lose a an engineer, we suffer a noticeable loss of engineering capacity. It can take 2 to 6 months to find a suitable replacement and then 6 months to a year before they settle in and really get productive. Yet our top management thinks it's OK to have 6 percent turnover in our technical staff.

This is despite there being a huge body of potential employees with good enough general training and good work habits out there working non-STEM jobs. It's perceived that we must spend four months finding JUST the right replacement for any employee we lose. But we lose four months finding her and we could have hired another person who would take 2 months longer to train...

Re:It's not all one field (1)

dj245 (732906) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730867)

Every time we lose a an engineer, we suffer a noticeable loss of engineering capacity. It can take 2 to 6 months to find a suitable replacement and then 6 months to a year before they settle in and really get productive. Yet our top management thinks it's OK to have 6 percent turnover in our technical staff.

6% turnover isn't bad from my perspective. It means that the average employee lasts 7 years before moving on. That's a pretty decent stint.

I worked at a company where the sales force had roughly a 25-30% attrition rate. At one point, the most senior one (out of a group of 7) had less than 2 years in the company. Their manager and their manager's manager have since been promoted twice.

Re:It's not all one field (1)

BonThomme (239873) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730609)

"shortage is of course most likely in new and in growing fields"

And these superjobs of the future would be?

Ok But How Does This Apply To Syria? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730143)

Which is to soon be a smoldering pile of unembalmed shit, hm? How?

Nahhh.. (5, Funny)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730149)

We don't have an overabundance of STEM workers.

We have an overabundance of H1B visas...

Agism (5, Insightful)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730157)

If you regard everyone over 35 is unemployable, they it is entirely possible you will be short of applicants.

There is also the not insignificant fact that STEM graduates can get better [pay and more respect by working in other fields.

And thus the obvious is explained in detail... (4, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730177)

while nobody sees this as yet another failure of capitalism to magically optimize everything for everyone like some kind of wonder fairy. Look, it's a system with winners and losers. Like the lottery, there are a lot more losers than winners.

Oh, and newsflash. The winners would like workers who are as close to slavery as they can get without an overt revolution which might get expensive. Twas ever thus.

Re:And thus the obvious is explained in detail... (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730319)

This should be modded insightful, not funny.

Re:And thus the obvious is explained in detail... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730345)

Of course your rather snarky analysis, ignores the reality that were it not for the government interfering in the labor market by creating H1-b visa; this so-called crisis would not be occurring. If this is a failure of capitalism, then what would you propose as a replacement? One only has to look at the opulence with which the rulers of non-captialist countries live in order to see that there are ruling classes everywhere - and yes they do want slaves. However, if you think moving from a market to a command economy will solve these issues - you are forgetting that the "winners" will be the ones writing the commands.

There will always be winners and losers, not everyone gets a blue ribbon. The only question is how do you want the winner to be determined - free market competition or back room dealmaking?

Re:And thus the obvious is explained in detail... (2)

M. Baranczak (726671) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730589)

were it not for the government interfering in the labor market by creating H1-b visa; this so-called crisis would not be occurring

Wait a second. When the government loosens immigration restrictions and lets people work wherever they want, that's supposed to be "interfering in the labor market"?

Re:And thus the obvious is explained in detail... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730667)

Except that H1-b visa holders are highly restricted in where they can work.

Re:And thus the obvious is explained in detail... (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730747)

Fair enough. But I still don't know what you're pushing here: Getting rid of H1-B, or opening the borders?

Re:And thus the obvious is explained in detail... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730811)

You can sell H1-Bs as either government interference in the free market or reckless deregulation, depending on your partisan affiliation

To get to 'government interference' you can start from limited immigration being natural, and thus any change in immigration policy is government interference. That requires a bit of cognitive dissonance. It's a little easier to swallow if you point out that the H1-B's are not true immigrants, but have their visa tied to their job. This limits those people from changing jobs, thus creating a downward pressure on their wage and consequently on all wages. Essentially, the H1B program allows employers to trick people into taking bad entry level positions with the promise of America and lock them in with the threat of deportation.

To get to "reckless deregulation," you point out that H1B is essentially an end-run around real immigration, in which the workers get a stake in their adopted community, and a mechanism for breaking the natural monopoly of local labor.

Re:And thus the obvious is explained in detail... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730977)

Agree with most of what you said. Except to get to government interference requires no cognitive dissonance. Limited immigration is natural as all functioning governments control their borders. The reason H1b is interference in the labor market is that it is an end-run around normal immigration which is structured to give a certain group of businesses an unfair labor advantage. As has been pointed out, there are no economic indicators which show the shortage H1-b supporters claim.

Re:And thus the obvious is explained in detail... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730995)

Really? A lot more losers than winners? I took a look at American society and I don't see all those losers. Well... I guess if the standard is that only lottery winners are the winners, then yes. Then I have to include myself as a loser. I also took a look at the continent of Africa. Suddenly I feel like every last person in America has hit the jackpot.

Re:And thus the obvious is explained in detail... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | 1 year,19 days | (#44731011)

while nobody sees this as yet another failure of capitalism to magically optimize everything for everyone like some kind of wonder fairy.

C'mon, only somebody with a preconceived axe to grind against capitalism would take an example of a central-planning failure and wonder why nobody sees it as an example of capitalism failing.

Re:And thus the obvious is explained in detail... (3, Interesting)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | 1 year,19 days | (#44731093)

Horseshit. Capitalism is a tool, not a religion. Socialism too. Idiots make religions of economic systems, which is sort of like worshiping your computer (No offense to long time Mac users). Both systems have strengths and weaknesses. Anyone who works in IT and has had their rational decisions overridden by ignorant high-level managers knows that capitalism fails at certain scales. Central planning works no better when done by someone who sits on the board of GE and viacom than it did when it was done by someone at the Politboro.

Heterogeneous small scale capitalism, where corporate size was controlled through taxation worked well in the 50s, 60s and 70s before the congress was sufficiently purchased in order to change the laws (Anti-trust, glass-steagal) that prevented our currentl slide into the logical end of unfettered capitalism (e.g. Mexico, Kazakhstan, Russia).

What about diversity (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730207)

A strong focus in the push for improved STEM education (at least in some corners) is the recruitment of more women and minorities into STEM fields. De-emphasizing STEM education as this article suggests would only exacerbate this problem.

Re:What about diversity (1, Offtopic)

cookYourDog (3030961) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730249)

Never quite understood the constant gushing on about 'diversity' or how exactly this would benefit STEM. Has anyone ever presented empirical evidence about the benefits of diversity? Why would you go to great lengths to include people on the basis of their superficial differences, only to end up striving for a work atmosphere that ignores those differences?

I'll believe the stem crisis is real (4, Informative)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730209)

When companies stop blowing me off because they think "Well he's an expert in C++ really well but has only done C# for a year or two so obviously he's useless in that." (From what I'm seeing most of what they do isn't that hard and what I do know about C++ does transfer over rapidly to C#. Hey, have I ever mentioned the grammar of C# (and Java for that matter) was done that way so us C++ guys could rapidly switch over to it?) You know, at time the vibe I get from companies is that they want what I call a desert island developer. That's a developer that's so good you could literally put him on a desert island. You'd air drop coding specs, food, beer, and women to him every day. Then he'd code it up by writing it up in the sand on the beach(Which the next airdrop plane would photograph) and that code in the sand would work perfectly once it was scanned in.

Re:I'll believe the stem crisis is real (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730343)

You'd air drop coding specs, food, beer, and women to him every day.

What company is this? Are they hiring?

Re:I'll believe the stem crisis is real (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730437)

They blow you off because you're a weak whiner, who doesn't self-educate but waits for his master to educate him.

Re:I'll believe the stem crisis is real (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730451)

Or, as it were, they simply blow him off for lacking experience on paper even though he actually knows the language.

Re:I'll believe the stem crisis is real (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730507)

You just described my dream job....

Re:I'll believe the stem crisis is real (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730911)

You just described my dream job....

Except for the coding nonsense....

Re:I'll believe the stem crisis is real (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730521)

There's also companies dumb enough to ask for 10 years of HTML5+CSS3 experience.

Re:I'll believe the stem crisis is real (2)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730555)

What would he do with the women? We're talking about a programmer, for God's sake.

There's both a glut AND a shortage (4, Insightful)

QilessQi (2044624) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730215)

I have been interviewing IT candidates for years. We don't have a shortage of applicants. We do have a shortage of good applicants. I am increasingly dismayed by the number of individuals who profess ten or even twenty years of IT experience on their resumes, yet who cannot solve the most basic design problem or answer questions about the fundamentals of the language they use daily.

This goes for both native-born U.S. workers and those from outside, by the way.

I suspect that many people become software developers because they believe it to be a lucrative -- or, at least, employable -- field. But being a developer is like being a novelist or an athlete or a professional chess player: it requires a certain amount of discipline, above and beyond just showing up and doing the work assigned to you. Where I work we can't afford to have bad coders, so it's very hard to make the cut.

Re:There's both a glut AND a shortage (4, Insightful)

professionalfurryele (877225) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730411)

You do not have a shortage of good applicants, such a shortage is impossible in a market system like we have. What you have is too low a price point. Quadrupedal the offered pay rate and you will find plenty of such applicants, because you will be able to poach them from other companies for a start. I cant help but feel that any employer who ever mentions the word 'shortage' in relation to labour should be immediately required to increase the pay they give the relevant employees by 20% and handed a leaflet explaining exactly how market economies work.

Re:There's both a glut AND a shortage (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730663)

> Quadrupedal the offered pay rate

?????

Re:There's both a glut AND a shortage (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44731081)

Quadrupedal is a fancy word for a tandem bicycle. And it's one of the distinguishing features of a cow. Hope that clears things up for you.

Re:There's both a glut AND a shortage (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730825)

Okay, let's say we quadruple all programmers pay. New problem... manager's say no one will pay for software at new (as a direct consequence) price point.

It's like saying your taxes are too high. Is anyone really going to say that their taxes are too low?

Re:There's both a glut AND a shortage (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730561)

I am increasingly dismayed by the number of individuals who profess ten or even twenty years of IT experience on their resumes, yet who cannot solve the most basic design problem or answer questions about the fundamentals of the language they use daily.

I've been programming for a long time as a hobby. I've been at my current job for 10 years now. I write webapps (mostly as a cowboy coder), do some administration work on enterprise systems and basically I'm the guy in my division they call when any project gets stuck on a technical issue.

I see interview questions for SQL and Java which I've used a lot of in the past 10 years, some of them I can solve, some I cant. I really wonder what kind of hell I'd have to go through to get another job. Half the time I think "I'd just google that if I had to do it and figure out the best methodology from there". I've really come to the conclusion that my best skill set is that I read documentation, I can find answers quickly on google, I can come up with creative solutions to business process issues, and I've been doing IT for so long that I can deduce what an issue is fairly quickly just from experience. I really don't know how you figure those things out in an interview, or how you communicate them to a potential employer. Furthermore, employers seem more interested in you knowing some nuance of a programming language, or something that just doesn't apply to day to day programming.

Re:There's both a glut AND a shortage (2)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730603)

Two questions: 1. How long does it take you to find a GOOD programmer? 2. How long would it take you to train one in the top third of those you interview to be a GOOD programmer? If the answer to #1 is greater than the answer to #2, you're doing it wrong.

Re:There's both a glut AND a shortage (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730939)

We do have a shortage of good applicants.

For the pay that you're offering.

Re:There's both a glut AND a shortage (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44731047)

In my experience, a lot of the problem lies with incompetent interviewers. In one example, the interviewer asked me to define polymorphism. I explained what it was in the context of the Java, but that answer did not satisfy him. He demanded that I provide him with a textbook definition, so I passed on the question. The issue here was not a lack of knowledge on my part but one of not being able to word the response in the way the interviewer wanted.

In another instance, an interviewer started asking me UML questions. I explained that while I had been exposed to UML during my degree, I was not very familiar with it (so I couldn't name three UML diagram types, for example). This, of course, ended the interview. What made that especially absurd to me was that it took me very little time to learn UML after the interview.

But what qualifies as STEM? (3, Insightful)

ohieaux (2860669) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730245)

We had a research project, funded by a major, national science research agency, focused on STEM education. Early on, we needed to formally define STEM disciplines. It turns out there are as many definitions of STEM as there are organizations studying STEM issues. The two main perspectives are education and occupation. Both use their own codes (SOC for occupations and CIP for education). There are crosswalks, but they are not 100%. In the end, we needed CIP codes and collected many CIP code classifications on STEM.

What was confusing is that many researchers exclude major, technical fields, like medicine or agriculture. Best we could determine is that STEM definitions depended on who was funding the research. Some researchers add social sciences. One classification included Gender Studies as STEM! What is needed is a much finer classification, within STEM disciplines. Then, industry numbers from BLS can be mapped to CIP codes in education. And while many workers move out of their base CIP discipline, a matching of supply and demand can be done without as much aggregate noise.

Finally, something making sense of the allegation (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730269)

Of all the years, never seen a STEM "crisis". Good to see some counter argument. It's seemed like an unquestioned pile of BS too long.

A few flaws here.. (3, Interesting)

pla (258480) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730271)

We have a few problems with just crunching the numbers in this case.

First of all - Not everyone who manages to 2.0 their way through a STEM degree will do well at it, or even like doing it for that matter.

Second - A STEM degree (even with a 2.0) carries the prestige of "this guy knows something". For all the require-a-degree-but-not-really jobs out there, having a "real" major rather than Wymins' Studies will go a loooong way toward getting you in the top half of the pile of applicants.

Finally, jobs that really do require a STEM background tend to favor younger people, both in terms of sharpness of mind and lack of experience to say "no" to regularly putting in 60+ hours a week, on salary. The core STEM workforce of the 90s and even the 00's has largely moved on to manage today's engineers - If they haven't gotten so sick of busting their ass that they dropped out and went on to a sleepy AP Entry Clerk position somewhere.

So yes, we very much do have both a surplus and a shortage. We have a surplus because not all STEM grads can or want to work in STEM; we have a shortage because we don't have enough people good enough or naive enough to put up with actually doing a STEM job.

there is no reason an STEM job requires 60 hours (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730351)

if you manage a project properly, then you do this thing called 'delegation' and 'breaking up a complex task into smaller pieces'. then you have teams of people work on those tasks while also being able to, i dont know, shit and eat. its a fucking amazing concept, first pioneered in, i dont know, ancient fucking babylon.

Re:there is no reason an STEM job requires 60 hour (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730455)

There are also capital letters, which were invented before lowercase letters.

And the reason that STEM jobs require 60 hours is the same reason that any other jobs does... there aren't enough qualified people around to do it.

Re: there is no reason an STEM job requires 60 hou (2)

JWW (79176) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730491)

Actually what always amazes me is that software projects are viewed as failures if they are over budget or completed late.

Funny, the construction industry, measured under the same standards, would have absolutely no successful projects either.

Far too many PHBs think that software development is really easy and don't get how clueless they are.

I don't have any problems with managers making a lot of money. I have problems with managers that are dumber than shit making a lot of money.

2.0'd my way to high six figures.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730553)

I have a engineering degree from a mid-tier University and did the bare minimum to pass. I learned a lot and was exposed to a lot of technologies, theorems and approaches I wouldn't have been otherwise. That served me well.

Instead of living in the library, I learned how to socialize with people, drinking beer - and learned everything I could about practical programming - back then, MFC, Core Windows API, Linux 1.0-series kernels, bringing up green hardware to a bootloader.

I never had to provide a transcript to get any job. When pushed, I just flatly refused. That included positions are large leaders with "HR" departments. You impress a manager enough, you won't have a problem with HR. They may have a problem with you, but they're overhead. Whining otherwise means you don't know how to network.

I let my solid record stand for itself. I never had an issue with "FizzBuzz" style tests or technical interrogations. Ultimately, despite my "2.0'ing it through", I knew my shit, very, very well. Now I am more of a manager, and I run very large projects. I've learned to spot those who are solid technical performers. It's not that difficult to do.

If you are having a problem finding work, or are stuck in a dead end position, one of two things (or both) is likely true:

#1. You are not as good as you think you are, and/or are lacking the experience, talent, or some combination thereto. If you can't build an IT product, program, service - whatever - in your own time that you can use as a reference to show "hey I know my shit", then you're going to have a rough go.

#2. You are an under-socialized technical person. The world runs on relationships, not tech. That's not fair, but my friend, that is the way that it is. Fake it until you make it. There are lots of books you can read on how to interact and learn social cues. Some people just know, I had to learn, and I learned from those books. Use those skills to identify and create opportunities and new positions you can use to jump up the ladder. On the upside, you'll also enjoy a lot more success with your sexual partners of choice.

If you're unwilling or unable to do those things - and you don't have a trust fund - the world will be one hell of a harsh place and a rough ride.

Rule one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730303)

If you are able to set the definitions, you can (and should) win any argument.

The classification they are using for STEM is very, very broad. Sorry, your technical support job is NOT STEM. Sorry, your forestry job is (probably not) STEM. Lab technician... not STEM. Your BA in geology, (probably not) STEM (note, BA, not BS, meaning you couldn't cut it in the MATH and SCIENCE courses).

So, yes, if by STEM, you mean not physical labor, then, yes, there is no shortage; indeed, there is a surplus.
.

Corporations want cheap labor (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730313)

so it prefers to bring in foreigners if they can. And they can, because the buy politicians and write the laws (ALEC) for the politicians to pass.

It's really simple (4, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730317)

Money. Someone with a STEM degree can often make more money, in the short and long term, by working in a field that is not a "traditional" STEM field. The STEM "crisis" is the result of companies unwilling to compete on salary and benefits; in some cases they think their name alone should be enough to get job applicants lining up. I saw that as an MBA candidate; with major corporations crying they can't fill their interview slots. Well, guess what Sparky, if you offer 50%(or more) less than Wall Street and consulting firms you aren't very attractive. My class had a lot of recovering engineers such as myself; and none went to traditional STEM employers post grad school. Anecdotal information suggests a number didn't out of undergrad as well.

Cultural stigma (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730671)

I worked in a "STEM" job in the US for more than 10 years. I noticed quickly that the engineering field is not really considered respectable in American culture. To put it bluntly, engineering is not a white man's job in the US. Dirty work is left for foreigners, while money and women are in business, law and medicine. The only decent way to earn a dollar appears to be through socializing, networking, smalltalk and such.

In ROW, engineers are up there with doctors as favorite son-in-law candidates for the daughters of respectable folks.

Re:Cultural stigma (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | 1 year,19 days | (#44731037)

In ROW, engineers are up there with doctors as favorite son-in-law candidates for the daughters of respectable folks.

What's "ROW"?

Re:Cultural stigma (1)

captjc (453680) | 1 year,19 days | (#44731067)

"The Rest of the World"

STEM degree =/= STEM job qualification (2)

dslmodem (733085) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730373)

I have to say that STEM education in US is not good enough. For instance, kids start to use calculators too early. Using calculator is a great way to simplify many computation tasks. However, it deprives kids the opportunities to THINK and ESTIMATE. Both are crucial for STEM jobs.

In universities, I have encountered engineering students who did not know what they should really know. Well, they eventually got their degrees. In my opinion, it is much better off for them to pursue jobs in areas other than STEM.

More STEM (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730457)

I think in order to really appreciate STEM, the summery should have written STEM in more places. So as to signify the importance of STEM and how it relates to STEM people and their STEM dealings.

Pretty simple to understand... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44730489)

Great students graduate with STEM degrees but find they can work in other fields for way more money. Fields that don't suppress wages with H-1B visas. It's what happens when companies figure out its simply cheaper to buy off politicians than pay engineers what they are really worth.

Direct result of declaring corporations "people", hiding campaign contributors and not requiring public campaign financing so every voter really is equivalent!

'they will end up in other sectors of the economy' (1)

BonThomme (239873) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730549)

Would you like parallelepiped potatoes with that?

you'll know the STEM shortage is real when... (3, Insightful)

BonThomme (239873) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730569)

Companies that cannot hire H1-B's (defense contractors) are paying outsize salaries and lavish benefits to their engineers. At the moment, they can't seem to stop laying them off...

to much push for degrees over other types of lerni (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,19 days | (#44730855)

to much push for degrees over other types of learning?

In some areas like Tech / IT there is to much push for an degree over more hands on learning and the tech / trades schools out there are roped into the degree system. Also in some areas some 2 year tech / trades schools are very good but they get pushed back as they are not 4 year ones even when you can learn a lot more at one.

For lots of IT / tech / coding jobs some of university are over loaded with theory and they trun out people who can't do the job.

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