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STEM field facing multiple gaps

May 31, 2018

Noting that we have reached a point in time where STEM “influences every aspect of our education, work, and community life,” STEMconnector, a professional services firm, has released a new report that examines the current state of the field, identifies gaps and makes recommendations for action and investment. State of STEM highlights “five critical gaps” in the STEM workforce: a fundamental skills gap; belief gap; postsecondary education gap; geographic gap; and, demographic gap. The interaction of these gaps throughout the STEM ecosystem creates an overall opportunity gap for students and job seekers, a workforce development challenge for educators and a business imperative for employers, the report states.

Closing the gaps will require coordination of practice, funding and policymaking, and the report goes on to make recommendations that are intended to work together. Some of the recommendations seek to enhance organization and professional practice and include exposing young people to STEM routinely, equipping students and job seekers with navigation resources, and assessing skills and credential requirements. Other solutions that focus on creating an enabling environment include leveraging data at both organizational and systemic levels, and aligning incentives for organizations and individuals with overall STEM ecosystem talent goals. The full report is available here.