Microsoft and Harris Interactive conducted an online surveys, of the U.S. college students currently pursuing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees and of parents of K-12 students to gain insight about what can better prepare and inspire students to pursue post-secondary education in STEM subjects.
"The state of STEM education has been a leading topic of conversation and concern among education leaders, teachers and faculty members, policymakers, business leaders, parents, and even students in recent years. The U.S. will have more than 1.2 million job openings in STEM-related fields by 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and, unfortunately, there will be a significant shortage of qualified college graduates to fill them," stated Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel and senior vice president.
The key findings of Microsoft's STEM survey includes:
Parents were asked about their perceptions of STEM education in K-12, here is what the survery found in this category:
- 93% parents believe that STEM education should be a priority in the U.S., comparing to 49% who actually agreed that it's actually a "top priority for this country."
- 53% feel STEM should be a priority said to ensure the U.S. remains competitive in the global marketplace, 51% to produce the next gen of innovators, 36% said it's to enable students to have well-paying or fulfilling careers said 30%.
- 50% would like to see their children pursue a STEM career, 24% are extremely willing to spend extra money helping their children be successful in their math and science classes.