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Reading: Are We Missing Opportunities to Encourage Interest in STEM Fields?

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Are We Missing Opportunities to Encourage Interest in STEM Fields?

Authors:

Cathy Hall ,

East Carolina University, US
About Cathy

A Professor in the Department of Psychology at East Carolina University.

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Jeremy Dickerson,

Coastal Carolina University, US
About Jeremy
An Associate Professor in the Spadoni College of Education at Coastal Carolina University.
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David Batts,

East Carolina University, US
About David
An Associate Professor in the Department of Technology Systems at East Carolina University.
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Paul Kauffmann,

East Carolina University, US
About Paul
A Professor in the Department of Engineering at East Carolina University.
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Michael Bosse

East Carolina University
About Michael
An Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology at East Carolina University.
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Abstract

The disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have experienced problems in producing adequate numbers of graduates to meet workforce needs in these fields. Although entrance into the STEM fields has grown, this growth is not keeping pace with the overall needs of the labor market (CPST, 2007; Lowell & Regets, 2006). Since 2001, a decline in the share of total employment in STEM areas has been seen (CPST, 2007). A report by the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology (CPST, 2007) notes that, while our nation’s workforce is growing in these fields, it still lags behind the overall growth of the United States, resulting in a serious deficit in the supply side of the STEM workforce. From 2001 to 2006, STEM employed professionals declined from 5.6% to 5% in the United States. This decline mirrored post-secondary enrollment in STEM degree fields (Ashby, 2006). While the actual enrollment in STEM degree fields increased from 519,000 students in 1994-1995 to 578,000 students in 2003-2004, the proportion of undergraduate degrees awarded in STEM fields actually declined from 32% to 27 % of all degrees awarded. This decline has significant economic implications, since the United States needs to produce more graduates in the STEM fields to maintain its competitiveness in technological areas (COSSA, 2008).
How to Cite: Hall, C., Dickerson, J., Batts, D., Kauffmann, P., & Bosse, M. (2011). Are We Missing Opportunities to Encourage Interest in STEM Fields?. Journal of Technology Education, 23(1), 32–46. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jte.v23i1.a.4
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Published on 22 Sep 2011.
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