This past December, the Programme for International Student Assessment scores, which measure the aptitude of 15-year-old students worldwide in science, reading and math, were released. Since the last assessment in 2009, U.S. scores remained relatively stagnant in all three subject areas, while other countries slowly crept ahead. Of the 64 nations scored, U.S. students ranked 28th in science, 36th in math and 21st in reading.
The Department of Commerce has estimated that from 2008-2018, STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17 percent, while non-STEM job prospects are expected to grow by only 9.8 percent. In order for the U.S. to achieve economic growth and remain competitive on an international scale, these jobs must be filled.
People employed in STEM fields are making technological breakthroughs that directly impact our lives: engineers are improving our infrastructure, developing safer bridges and roads across the country; scientists are making advances in health care that bring us closer to eradicating disease; and innovators are consistently changing the way we think about communication. They are the people who move our country forward and the minds who enable us to remain one of the most progressive nations in the world.