College students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) are confident about their job prospects. In fact, in a recent survey, they expressed more confidence than their peers who are pursuing degrees in the liberal arts, business or public service.
In analyzing data from the Texas Education Research Center, SWE researchers found that less than 4 percent of female students chose engineering or computer science (ECS) majors compared to nearly 20 percent of men across two- and four-year institutions in the state. Evidence of a slight decrease in ECS major declarations among women comes despite more women than men enrolling in college each year.
In years past, some coding toys seemed too complex, too boring, too expensive. But this year gives me hope that we’re coming a long way in terms of getting kids excited about STEM skills and coding basics, and giving them plenty of options to find the one that best appeals to them. Here, just a few favorites.
The greatest influence on the career ambitions of today’s children isn’t their teachers, parents, books, or even self-discovered passions. Instead, their ambitions are being primarily shaped by television, movies, and YouTube. Good news: Over half of girls say they want a career in STEM fields. Bad news: Kid’s entertainment is still very gendered.
More than three-quarters of women who work in STEM fields at male-dominated workplaces report experiencing at least one type of gender discrimination, ranging from being turned down for a job to making less than a man for the same work. Reports of discrimination are highest among women with advanced degrees and those who work with computers.
Employment in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations has grown 79% since 1990, from 9.7 million to 17.3 million, outpacing overall U.S. job growth. There’s no single standard for which jobs count as STEM, and this may contribute to a number of misperceptions about who works in STEM and the difference that having a STEM-related degree can make in workers’ pocketbooks.
Teaching computer science in K-12 schools -- and even making it a curriculum requirement -- is not just a lofty idea anymore. Schools around the country really began to embrace computer science in 2017, with a number of states moving forward with legislation to make it a mandatory subject. Advocates who have long been fighting for change said the hard work is finally paying off, and more achievements are ahead in 2018.
Those surveyed found fault with many aspects of STEM education. “People saw problems stemming from parents, problems stemming from students, as well as problems stemming from teaching style,” said Cary Funk, director of science and society research at Pew and the study’s lead author. More than half of those surveyed said STEM teachers spent too much time meeting state standards (55 percent) and too little emphasizing practical applications (53 percent).
The lack of women in science and innovation fields is not simply a question of fairness or equality; it suggests that the economy is missing out on important potential for productivity growth. The fact that just 16 percent of patents are granted to women demonstrates in some ways how we may be leaving future Grace Hoppers out of the world of innovation and hence missing their insights and inventions.
Students at High Technology High School, a pre-engineering school in Monmouth County, wanted to find a way to make it easier to track people down in an emergency situation. So they designed an app.