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Attracting Students to STEM Fields
Posted on March 29th, 2018 by Prima Sung in Chemical R&D
STEM may be one of the most frequently uttered acronyms of the last few years. Everywhere you turn, educators and business titans and the media are talking about the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) industries, which are where so many of the present and future jobs are to be found. Unfortunately, though, we are still not producing enough people to fill the need in these areas. A STEM skills shortage is making it hard for companies to find the trained technical and research staff that they require. Among the sciences, chemistry especially struggles to appeal to students, a difficulty that some chemists view as an “image problem” stemming from their field’s accomplishments not being as well-known or understood by people in the mainstream.
So what is the answer to attracting more young talent to STEM fields, and chemistry in particular? The answer may be for universities and companies to make the environment for studying and working in chemistry as exciting as possible. Think about Silicon Valley and the way that people talk about the Google campus or other cutting-edge tech businesses. What might chemistry’s answer to Silicon Valley be? It would certainly involve the use of the sort of advanced technology and tools that enables chemists to innovate faster and better. It also, quite frankly, must involve doing a better job of promoting chemistry’s incredible potential to solve the world’s greatest challenges, from feeding the hungry to combating climate change.
Check out the article “Raising the Profile of Chemistry: How to STEM the Recruitment Crisis” to learn more about the nature of this crisis and what can be done to attract more young people to the field. Read it here.
All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.
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