INFOGRAPHIC: STEM facts that should shock you

By Meris Stansbury, Managing Editor for eCampus News, @eSN_Meris
March 6th, 2014

Is the U.S. really making progress in STEM? These statistics shed new light on the current crisis

STEM-infographic-factsBy now every stakeholder in education is aware of ‘the STEM crisis,’ but with an increased focus on K-12 STEM curriculum, are post-secondary students attaining STEM degrees? How did the Great Recession affect STEM jobs, if at all? New statistics help shed light on the current state of science, technology, engineering and math.

In this infographic, you’ll find the most up-to-date information on the projection of STEM careers in the near future, and how everything from K-12 class time, to taking AP exams, can affect these core subjects in higher education.

For example, did you know that in 2020 there will be 9.2 million STEM jobs, with 4.6 million in computing alone? Yet currently, only 31 percent of U.S. bachelor’s degrees were awarded in science and engineering.

Also, for the first time in history, over half of all U.S. patents were awarded to non-U.S. companies, due to what experts say is STEM shortcomings forcing a hold on innovation.

What do you think of these statistics? Is the STEM crisis really as dire as the statistics reveal, or is the U.S. currently making enough progress to combat the dearth in science, technology, engineering and math education; and if so, how? Why do only a minimal percentage of students entering post-secondary education in a STEM field obtain a STEM-related degree?

Leave your comments with the story in the section below, or find me on Twitter @eSN_Meris.

(Next page: Infographic)

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One Response to “INFOGRAPHIC: STEM facts that should shock you”

March 6, 2014

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) jobs are growing at a rate three times faster than other occupations and are projected to grow 17 percent by 2018. As reported in a recent article in the Huffington Post by Vivian Pickard, President, General Motors Foundation, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that over the next five years, the United States will have more than 1 million STEM-related job openings. The Commerce Department reports that STEM workers now command 26 percent higher wages than their counterparts yet, while employers are eager to hire, the number of students pursuing STEM-related majors continues to shrink, especially among women and minorities. Just 16 percent of American high school seniors are both proficient in mathematics and interested in a STEM career, and only 25 percent of STEM graduates are women.
Perhaps shining a spotlight on the intersection between sports and technology could enhance students’ interest in the pursuit of technology and science careers. With its dependence on statistics, mathematics has always had a place in the sports world, but now with the innovations of social media and new technologies science and engineering are needed as well.

Technology is contributing greatly to the growth of the global sports industry, which today is estimated at well over $100 billion. Innovations are created by scientists, engineers and mathematicians designed to enhance individual and team athletic performance, improve the game-day experience, engage fans, and distribute sports information on multiple platforms. Their work has led to substantial increases in revenues from gate receipts, sponsorships, and media rights. With fans becoming more tech-savvy every year, franchises are forced to keep up with these STEM related sports advancements.
Today’s NFL franchises are now facing their most formidable opponent. It isn’t the other competing sports, an increase in criminal behavior among players, or even an increase in steroid use. No, this formidable opponent that NFL franchises are battling is what New England Patriots Publisher & Vice President of Content Fred Kirsch calls the three C’s: cost, comfort, and convenience. The three C’s are leading more fans to forego high ticket prices, concession stand lines, and cold weather for the comforts of a lazy-boy recliner, strong WIFI connection, Hi-Def television, and a short walk to a private bathroom.

The future holds a world with live sports viewable on Facebook, real-life hologram instant replays, Wi-Fi access for fans at stadiums and numerous other sports technology related advancements. Therefore, the sports, technology, and educational communities need to work together. Could a focus on technology in sports encourage, inspire, and convince this and future generations to investigate, navigate and master the challenging – and unfortunately still distant for many – worlds of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics? By making them more relevant and rewarding we could entice increasing numbers of today’s students to become more interested in the STEM subjects – Perhaps making American students more competitive with their counterparts from the Middle East and Southeast Asia and even helping the US produce more engineers and physicists. Just a thought to ponder.

There is a place where these worlds of technology and sports intersect. SportTechie, an exciting and provocative site highlights the latest innovations in global technology. It offers students an understanding of and an appreciation for analytics, variances, mobile devices, emerging social media, and gaming skills. By combining technology and sports (which is exactly what SportTechie does) it is possible for educators to open up a whole new world of career possibilities in the STEM fields to their students.
I pose to you these rumblings from the intersection of sports and technology, the interaction between jocks and tech geeks, and applaud SportTechie for its unique focus on technology and its impact on training, player health, game strategy, and fan engagement. Check out SportTechie. I think its exclusive focus on technology and sports has hit a home run and offers tremendous promise for getting more students involved in STEM courses and careers.