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US Lagging Behind Other Countries In Tech Fields: Too Much Emphasis On Other Fields May To Blame
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US Lagging Behind Other Countries In Tech Fields: Too Much Emphasis on Other Fields May to Blame

A new report reveals that young workers in the United States are lagging behind other nations when it comes to the degrees they hold and the field they are currently employed in. As many as twenty other nations are ahead of the US in the fields of math and science. The same study is also revealing a number of theories for why that might be happening.

The study, conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development looked at the number of graduates in a certain field versus those that are working in that field currently. The results of the study showed that not only was the United States behind twenty other countries it is also below the international average in terms of the number of twenty five to thirty four year old workers who hold a degree in the field they are working in. Those fields where the numbers were lagging included science, engineering, computing and statistics.

Results showed that in the US there were just under 1500 math and science grads working in their chosen field for every 100,000 workers. Korea is the leader with nearly four thousand for every 100,000 workers. The US is behind a number of countries but comes closest to Turkey, Spain and Iceland.

One working theory about why this disparity exists is that the American culture pushes college students into other fields, erroneously telling them that these positions are not as lucrative as others. In truth, jobs in math and science, especially in terms of computer based positions are among the highest paying in the nation and are part of the occupations that are actually still seeing growth. The average college student is told that they will make the big money if they have certain degrees in fields such as business, finance and similar fields. Unfortunately, the culture also places a high level of esteem on those types of jobs as well.

Another of the problems with recruiting grads in this field is the lack of teachers, especially in the primary grades. Math and science teachers are frequently lured away to other jobs, typically because of the low pay. Ethnic and gender diversity is another real problem; most of the current teachers in those field are either White or Asian and are predominantly male. That lack of diversity keeps students from identifying with their teacher and may prevent them from making a connection, even if they show the skills to excel.


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