U.S. News & World Report editor in chief Mortimer Zuckerman told Yahoo's Daily Ticker that the United States may be "heading for the worst time in our lifetimes" if the nation does not begin graduating more students who are competent in STEM subjects.
He said that much of the job crisis in the United States can be attributed to the lack of skilled workers. Many corporations are shipping jobs overseas because they cannot fill them with U.S. citizens.
[Read Zuckerman's column Why Math and Science Education Means More Jobs.]
"We don't have the personnel to do the kind of manufacturing we need in [STEM] areas," he said. "You could employ hundreds of thousands, millions of people in these areas, but we don't have the qualified people to do it."
He said that America should fund schools that focus on STEM, and develop between 10,000 and 15,000 STEM teachers each year.
[Check out U.S. News's ranking of the best high schools for math and science.]
"Sixty percent of people who teach any kind of engineering or chemistry have no background in it," he said. "This is ridiculous. No other country would accept this."
He said the government should put money into career retraining efforts for laid-off workers. Zuckerman admitted that investing in STEM education is a "long-term solution," and that America will likely continue to suffer from a high unemployment rate in the short term.
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