Is the STEM worker shortage a myth?

The online magazine Slate discussed a new study that shows only 1 out of every 2 STEM graduates is actually employed in a STEM job.

The full report, from the Economic Policy Institute, concluded that both computer science and engineering majors produce fifty percent more graduates than are hired. Unemployment has risen while wages have fallen in the last ten years. However, the number of skilled guest-workers in these fields has increased in the same time-span.

And in contrast to reports that the United States has a failing education system, authors showed that the U.S. has the world’s largest share of high-performing students.

So what’s going on, and how can we help STEM students find employment in their fields?

Definitely check out the thought-provoking slides and let us know what you think!

2 thoughts on “Is the STEM worker shortage a myth?

  1. I find this increase in H-1B visa workers troubling. The argument I have heard from the corporate side of the issue (recently on a radio program) was that the corporations can’t find qualified workers. Yet, at academic institutions there is a push for STEM programs and we are generating graduates. In the radio program I listened to, they pointed out that there are laws that require U.S. companies to hire U.S. employees but these rules are easy to get around. They can hire an experienced temporary worker from overseas at a much lower wage without benefits and have no obligation to keep them, and in their business model this works better for them. It is troubling to me, as we have unemployed skilled workers in these areas who undoubtedly would cost more. Brand new graduates may not have as much experience as a temporary worker from overseas and the new U.S. graduate might even cost more, so therefore is not attractive to the hiring companies. I am concerned for a whole generation of new graduates, in many fields, who can’t get work. Especially when there are H-1B visa workers competing for the jobs.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Tina! I agree that it’s troubling that STEM is widely publicized as a field that doesn’t attract enough workers, yet we have a glut of college graduates that can’t find unemployment. I hope that STEM graduates still find successful career in other areas, and imagine that they are still better off than liberal arts grads, but lack of experience is always a challenge when trying to land that first job. Especially when overseas workers will do it more cheaply!

Leave a Reply