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Report – STEM Education for the Innovation Economy

Joint Economic Committee, U.S. Congress, January 2014: “Innovation is a primary driver of American prosperity. A significant portion of economic growth in the United States has been attributed to improved productivity resulting in part from innovation. To ensure that innovation and productivity growth continue, more Americans than ever will need to be equipped with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills. Over the next decade, the economy will need nearly one million more STEM professionals than the United States will produce at the current rate. Due to the high demand for STEM-capable workers, wage and employment prospects for individuals with these skills are excellent. Even so, not enough Americans are studying STEM to meet the economy’s needs. Fewer than one-in-five students obtain a bachelor’s degree in STEM and the percentage of freshmen intending to study computer science dropped to 1.5 percent in 2010, down from 5.2 percent 10 years earlier. Efforts to increase the number of STEM-capable workers must focus not only on higher education, but also on helping those who want to retrain and transition into STEM occupations. Certificate programs, for example, can help workers quickly acquire STEM skills they did not originally obtain in post-secondary programs. Increasing participation by veterans, women and minorities will also  help provide additional STEM workers. This report examines the growing number of STEM jobs in the United States and how to help American students take advantage of those opportunities.”

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