Boosting STEM Education at Community Colleges
A 2011 report about STEM workforce needs from the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University indicates that by 2018, 92% of STEM workers will need post-secondary education. Of that total, around 65% will need a Bachelor’s degree or higher, while 35% will be comprised of those with sub-baccalaureate training. The breakdown in qualifications making up that 35%: 1 million Associate’s degrees; 745,000 professional certificates; and 760,000 industry-based certifications.
According to the report, “There is increasing demand for STEM talent at the sub-baccalaureate level and our education system has, thus far, not adequately produced those workers. Going forward, our Career and Technical Education system will need a stronger STEM curriculum at the high-school and sub-baccalaureate level that is more tightly linked with competencies necessary for STEM jobs.” Clearly, America’s community colleges are an essential part of bolstering the STEM workforce, and many of them are endeavoring to build and strengthen their STEM offerings based on current and projected industry needs. How can we help community colleges boost their ability to turn out qualified, employable STEM workers?