Barriers Preventing Young Americans From Entering STEM Careers

A survey conducted by the Lemelson-MIT Invention Index stated that “60 percent of respondents ages 16 to 25 listed at least one factor preventing them from pursuing education and work in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) http://mit.edu/invent/n-pressreleases/n-press-11index.html. Young Americans face numerous challenges hindering them from entering STEM fields including lack of knowledge, the challenging nature of technical careers, and feeling that the public school system did not prepare them well enough to continue their education.

During his 2012 State of the Union Address, President Obama emphasized the importance of young Americans entering careers in STEM based workforces. In addition to the President, industry groups are calling on colleges to “graduate 10,000 more engineers a year and 100,000 new teachers with majors in STEM”. With the President encouraging teachers to major in STEM perhaps this will aid in transforming the education system by allowing for more inventive and creative courses to be created. With a greater knowledge and understanding of science, technology, engineering and math young Americans would no longer feel careers in STEM would be too challenging for them. Teachers would be able to guide students on the many different STEM fields, educate them, and prepare them appropriately to pursue technical professions.