The shortage of Ph.D.s in the technology industry would be less acute if so many did not stay in academia, Gary McDowell writes. Cultural biases push students toward research careers, despite the lack of tenured positions for most Ph.D.s, he writes.
Getting more young women into science, technology, engineering and math careers can only help address the growing need for STEM-trained workers, writes Lisa Hook, president and CEO of Neustar. She adds that greater diversity in the workplace has been shown in research to improve efficiency, and that companies should consider getting involved in school programs that will inspire girls to consider a future in STEM careers.
The efforts of Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis to urge young women and girls to pursue non-traditional careers is the kind of advocacy society needs to really change the future, writes columnist Jamal Simmons. Recent Department of Commerce figures show that while women now make up half of the U.S. workforce, they hold less than 25% of position in STEM fields.
A recent op-ed in the Washington Times misstated the economics of wind energy, writes Paul Holshouser, finance policy manager with the American Wind Energy Association. The industry has grown by 30% on average annually for the past five years, and creates jobs in rural areas, he writes. "As a result, 80,000 Americans are now employed in the industry, and the wind component-manufacturing chain encompasses 550 facilities spread across 44 states. Because of the size and complexity of each wind turbine, these jobs are well-paid and won't be outsourced," Holshouser writes.
Too many college students start taking computer science classes without having had much formal instruction in computer skills, Thinkersmith Executive Director Kiki Prottsman writes in this commentary. Given the role of computers in the workplace and in everyday life, it makes sense to encourage computational skills throughout a student's K-12 career and make computer science a fundamental part of the curriculum, she writes.