Really, the LAST thing we need is a flood of uninspired and untalented STEM grads who went into the programs just because their parents and/or government incentivised it.
"Head count" is not what will make us stronger in technology. If anything, that will dilute the value of STEM degrees and make it harder to find truly qualified people.
Instead, employers need to step up and invest in their workforce through training and easing back on the outsourcing. Too many businesses are caught in a never-ending downward spiral of short-sighted "cost-reduction".
It’s not that we need more engineers, scientists, mathematicians, etc., but that we need more willing to work for a lot less. The agenda of the Corporate Utopia is to depreciate the value of labor across the board. So ditto for the craftsman and tradesman of yore; the influx from south of the border will slowly turn his craft or trade into one of those jobs that Americans no longer want to do. That’s because your average American is no more or less patriotic than your average corporation. We don’t want to pay a fair wage if we don’t have to.
So before you defend "your company" best be sure just how hard they tried to find qualified Americans. The very large corporation I work for tends to find their most qualified applicants in Bombay these days.
In a free market those with the education, skills, experience, flexibility will be rewarded better than those with just the education.
Same is true for doctors, lawyers, engineers, nurses.
Unless of course we are talking about unions, or schools for that matter. Then everything is thrown out the door and now a new set of criteria is used.
And we have a prime example occupying the white house. Stuck in the agitator role and no gravitas or understanding what the new role requires.
It's a matter of supply and demand. I'm a java developer in the bay area. The equilibrium/market price for a Senior Java developer in Bay Area is around $140,000 per year plus benefits (100% of health/dental/vision insurance, stock, etc). If you post a job at that price point you will attract qualified applicants.
Unfortunately, unless the $$ incentives were very large, this isn't going to pursuade many US kids to go into the sciences. Besides, since when did teens (ie, newly independent college Freshmen) do anything their mom or dad wanted them to do...?
If I were to take a survey of most of my US born kids in my engineering classes, most are there because: (1) They did well in math and science in HS and (2) They like it...call it the "nerd" factor. I suspect (but that may be changing) that many are there because they think they can get a job after graduation....those that are, I bet it's a secondary reason.
Even those that start out in engineering, but are not truely commited, find the riggor of the curriculum often puts a serious damper on their college fun....and soon change majors.
Much like Asian families that have a long tradition of sending their kids off to be engineers, etc....it will take some major social changes before non-Asian US kids choose engineering/math/science in large numbers. The only exception to that right now would be the biological sciences, where woman are commonly attracted to that career path.
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