As an avid lover of STEM, I think it is important to follow the trends and news surrounding it. And considering that this is my first blog on this site, I wanted to cover a topic that I am truly invested in. More specifically, I wanted to discuss a recent development on a STEM education initiative being pushed by the Trump Administration and what it could mean for the future of the industry.
Firstly, for those who are unaware, STEM is a particular curriculum in education that focuses on four main subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. As our world becomes more reliant on technology, careers that involve some element of STEM are on the rise by a significant margin. According to the US Department of Commerce, STEM-related occupations have grown an astounding 24.4% in the last decade, compared to only 4% for non-STEM occupations, and the DOC predicts that STEM-related occupations will continue to rise by another 8.9% by 2024. In short, careers in STEM are on the rise and they are increasingly important.
What’s more important is the funding of STEM-related education initiatives so that we can continue to teach and grow the future generations of STEM innovators and thought leaders.
That brings me to the recent development in Washington D.C. According to a report from Moneyish.com, First Daughter Ivanka Trump has gotten an education initiative approved that would see $200 million donated annually to STEM programs across the country. This is a major win for Ivank and the industry in general seeing as how the nation’s STEM programs are drastically underfunded.
The initiative is also focused at closing the racial and gender gap associated with STEM education. A study from the National Center for Education Statistics reveals that, during the 2013-14 academic year, of all students that graduated with STEM degrees, only 11% of them were African-American. The study also revealed that men receive almost 2/3s of STEM degrees. There’s certainly an amount of inequality in the field that needs fixing.
And the Trump Administration isn’t the only one pushing for STEM funding. Major Silicon Valley companies are looking to donate approximately $300 million to the STEM education initiative. Tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, Google and Microsoft have pledged to donate $50 million each over the course of five years.
This is an important topic to not only myself, but to the millions of students out there who are interested in innovating technology, science, math and engineering. We must fund these programs to propel ourselves forward as a society. I’m incredibly excited for this initiative and can’t wait to see where it takes us!