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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

STEM in Demand: Two- and Four-year Degrees Needed

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October 24, 2013

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STEM in Demand: Two- and Four-year Degrees Needed

The STEM shortage is real and profound, according to recent findings published by Bayer, and is particularly relevant for occupations requiring two- and four-year degrees.

The report findings are based on interviews with talent recruiters at Fortune 1000 companies, including both STEM and non-STEM firms across a number of industries. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The majority of talent recruiters said that STEM two-year degree holders are at least as in demand as their non-STEM counterparts today and will be so 10 years in the future, with about half indicating that they are and will remain more in demand.
  • 67 percent reported there are more STEM than non-STEM jobs being created now and predict this will only increase.
  • Half of these talent recruiters reported they could not find adequate numbers of STEM-credentialed employees in a timely fashion, leading to a significant number of unfilled positions.
  • Almost three-quarters of respondents said there is a mismatch between candidates' STEM knowledge and what is necessary for the job.
  • 76 percent agreed that community colleges are an important but often overlooked element of the STEM education space. Talent recruiters at manufacturing firms and those who work with two-year STEM degree holders were particularly like to agree with this statement.

The report was launched at an event this week featuring Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to go into space, who related examples of the breadth of STEM careers. For instance, Dr. Jemison described how, when preparing for a mission, her life depended on the STEM literacy of her suit technician at NASA, a person who held a high school diploma as her highest credential. Dr. Jemison also described exemplary programs such as Andrews Aviation Academy in North Carolina, where high school students can earn college credit and credentials in aviation fields.  

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