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STEM and the American Workforce

You’ve heard it before: STEM jobs — that is, jobs in science, technology, engineering and math-related fields — are the future. The future of the U.S. economy. The future path to a child’s success. The future of U.S. competitiveness on the world stage.

But what is a STEM job? Is it a doctor? A Silicon Valley programmer? A NASA scientist? What sort of education path is needed for a STEM career? A bachelor’s degree? A Ph.D.? A vocational-technical training certificate?

Researchers in government, academia, nonprofit organizations and the private sector have all attempted to answer this question. Many of these previous attempts painted interesting pictures, but questions remain. This analysis takes an inclusive view of STEM. It considers all jobs that rely heavily on science, technology, engineering and math, regardless of the level of educational attainment required of the employee. To fully understand the impact of STEM on the economy and U.S. workforce, all STEM workers must be included — for example, this analysis recognizes that both the laboratory technician and the physician are critical to a patient’s diagnosis. …

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