There’s an embarrassing flaw in STEM, the hottest school trend

Sep 26, 2013 by

By Jay Mathews –

U.S. education lusts for STEM. Prepare to be pitied if you ask at a school conference what the acronym means (science, technology, engineering, math). There are STEM schools, STEM programs, STEM books, STEM experts. STEM grant applications get more respect. Everybody says STEM careers mean more money. I Googled STEM and got 146 million results.

So I hesitate amid all that excitement to expose a flaw in the STEM movement. College Measures, a joint venture of the American Institutes for Research and Matrix Knowledge Group, has analyzed the data. The problem can no longer be ignored. The S in STEM has been oversold. Science might have created the modern world, but it is not a lucrative career choice.

“Employers are paying more, often far more, for degrees in the fields of technology, engineering and mathematics (TEM),” College Measures President Mark Schneider wrote in his report, “Higher Education Pays: But a Lot More for Some Graduates Than for Others.”

But “evidence does not suggest that graduates with degrees in biology earn a wage premium — in fact, they often earn less than English majors,” Schneider wrote. “Graduates with degrees in chemistry earn somewhat more than biology majors, but they do not command the wage premium typically sought by those who major in engineering, computer/information science, or mathematics.”

via There’s an embarrassing flaw in STEM, the hottest school trend – The Washington Post.

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