White House Pledges to Create a Better STEM Pipeline From Schools to Careers

29 September, 2016

According to a study by Georgetown University and reported by U.S. News and World Report, the economy will face a shortage of 5 million workers properly trained and educated in employment needs by 2020. Jobs in STEM including healthcare, professional and technical support, community service, and education will have an increase from 24-31%. However, concerns are rising over whether our K-12 and post secondary schools have the preparation and training to fulfill this need of the future. Efforts are currently being made to encourage students to pursue STEM careers and boost educational systems to support the endeavor.

The White House has been pushing sustained $3 billion in funding and support for several initiatives to bolster an adequate pipeline to STEM careers. This includes an unheard of $4 billion proposal for a program on computer science for all students. The Department of Education will be offering better guidance for schools on how to utilize federal funding for STEM programs and training. STEM learning for the youngest learners starting at preschool are being planned for to include family education, engagement, and the utilization of media. Moreover, an online matching platform is being created to help STEM professionals pursue volunteering and mentorship opportunities in schools.

Aligned with these initiatives are the help from outside organizations. Code.org is helping 500 K-12 schools expand their computer science education.  Oracle also has invested $200 million in computer science initiatives for an additional 125,000 students in the country.

Certain populations are of growing concern, including the disparity of females in STEM majors and fields. Girls Who Code is working to launch more girls clubs, 1,500, this past year in order to provide a forum for girls to explore interests in computer science and coding.

Is your school taking part in this federal initiative to promote STEM? What programs are needed in your communities? Want to learn more? Check out the White House’s Educate to Innovate site for additional information on initiatives.

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