U.S. News’ Zuckerman Among 100 CEO Leaders in STEM

In an interview with STEMconnector, the U.S. News Editor in Chief offers suggestions for solving the STEM crisis.

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U.S. News & World Report Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Mort Zuckerman is this week’s featured corporate executive in STEMconnector’s 100 CEO Leaders in STEM.

Zuckerman, who ushered U.S. News into an all-digital platform in 2010, has been an outspoken advocate of STEM education and in 2012 launched a conference division focusing on the importance of science- and math-based education as well as how to improve the nation’s hospitals.

A graduate of Harvard Law School as well as the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, Zuckerman has declared STEM education among the “mission-critical” aspects of the future workforce, and considers it “directly linked” to economic productivity and global competitiveness. “Our future depends on the strength of our scientific spine,” he told STEMconnector. “As the nation shifts into a new, non-industrial economy, we will need a well-trained, technically competent workforce to manage and staff the science and technology businesses that create the high-paying jobs.”

"It is astonishing that only a small fraction of the nation’s high schools offer an Advanced Placement course in computer science, when 40 percent of small businesses say they have job openings they can’t fill because applicants are unqualified," he continued. "Our shortfall in education is the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession."

To help solve the crisis, Zuckerman suggests that officials strengthen public-school math and science curricula, improve early childhood education, and provide more financial and academic support to students who excel in STEM.

More STEM News:

U. Delaware Prof Gets Grant to Study Why Women Leave STEM Fields

DOVER, Del. - Armed with a multi-year, $791,000 National Science Foundation grant, a University of Delaware professor is studying how a social phenomenon known as “stereotype threat” helps drive women out of STEM fields, and how that trend can be reversed. Combining sociology with neuroscience, The Almagest web site reports, UD psychology professor Chad Forbes wants to know how different parts of the brain interact, whether some women are better at tuning out negative stereotypes (like “Women are bad at math,” for example) than others, and how that affects their career paths. Only a third of doctoral degrees in STEM are awarded to women, and females hold just 25 percent of STEM positions on school faculties. Women are more likely than men to report job dissatisfaction and leave the field. “It’s a complex problem and there are no easy answers,” Forbes explained.

Report: Fla. Public Universities Falling Short in STEM Grads

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida's public universities are producing a little more than half as many engineers, mathematicians, scientists and technicians than they need to in order to meet the demand of job growth in the next decade, according to a study presented to the Florida Board of Governors. According to the Gainesville Sun, the report shows the state university system is way off the benchmarks set down in the board's strategic plan to increase the total number of degrees produced each year from 53,000 to 90,000. Of greater concern is that the university system is 44 percent off its annual goal to produce 14,000 graduate degrees each year in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and 20 percent off its goal of creating 40,000 graduate degrees a year. Now the board is wondering if those are realistic numbers. Board members are starting a dialogue they hope to resume when they meet again in January.

STEM Attrition Rate for Undergrads About the Same As Other Fields

WASHINGTON - About half of bachelor’s degree candidates in science, technology, engineering and math leave the field before completing a college degree, according to a report from the U.S. Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics. According to Inside Higher Ed, the report indicates the seemingly high attrition rate roughly tracks the rate at which students in other majors -- like humanities, education and health sciences -- switched majors or dropped out of college.The report used data that tracked students enrolling in a bachelor’s or associate degree program in the 2003-2004 academic year through 2009.

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