About the Problem

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education is essential for students entering modern workforce. Over the past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs was three times as fast as growth in non-STEM jobs. Further, 16 of the 20 occupations with the largest projected growth in the next decade are STEM-based and the majority of those jobs do not require an advanced degree.

But American STEM education does not meet global standards:

  • Only 44 percent of U.S. high school graduates are ready for college-level math.
  • Only 36 percent of U.S. high school graduates are prepared for college science.
  • 19 developed nations performed better than American students in science, and
  • 26 developed nations performed better than American students in math in 2012.

About the Policy

The United States needs to make more targeted investments in STEM courses in primary and secondary school to interest and prepare students for careers in STEM fields. Improved math and science curricula, combined with newly incorporated computer programming, engineering and data analytics classes will better equip graduates for the workforce. The federal government can help by providing additional funding for STEM teacher training programs and creating STEM Innovation Networks by awarding grants to school districts in partnership with colleges to transform STEM education in K-12 schools.

Public Support

84% of All Polled
89% of Democrats
83% of Republicans
78% of Independents

Polling data derived from three national surveys conducted by Cohen Research Group in February and March 2016. Each survey had a sample size of at least 1,000 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%