Recently, the Economic Policy Institute issued a report claiming that there is no shortage of U.S. STEM workers and that increases in high-skill immigration are not needed and detrimental to the U.S. economy. In this report, ITIF presents a detailed rebuttal of the EPI analysis to provide a more accurate picture of the high skill labor market. We find that the EPI report's conclusions are simply not supported by the evidence. In fact, the U.S. does not produce enough STEM workers domestically, STEM wages and jobs have grown significantly over the last decade, and high-skill guestworkers are a complement, not a substitute, to American high-skill labor.
Education & Training
Phone Phreaks, STEM Freaks, and STEM Education
For these phreaks phone hacking was not something they were doing to be anti-social (at least most of the time), or something easy they were dabbling in in their spare time, it was a technically complex task they were passionate about; in fact in most cases, obsessive about it. Yet, they all had pursued this passion in spite of their formal education. For the education system provided them no space to follow this passion, despite the fact that many of these individuals became self-taught highly skilled network engineers. It’s no different today, large numbers of young people are passionate — ”phreaks” if you will — about some aspect related to STEM, but like the original phone phreaks they must pursue these passions outside of formal schooling, where virtually all high schools and many colleges impose a daunting array of requirements and core curriculum based on the notion that they know best what students should learn, even if the students simply don’t care to learn it.
A Short and Long-Term Solution to America's STEM Crisis
Today, jobs in STEM fields – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, go unfilled for lack of qualified workers, even in the current economy. A key reason is American students are choosing fields other than STEM. America must focus on regaining the lead in the race for global innovation advantage, which will spur the U.S. economy and create millions of good jobs. One key ingredient in that quest is to expand STEM talent. The I-Squared Act is an important step in the right direction.