As the world’s population continues to grow at a rapid pace, so must our ability to feed it.
During our discussion about careers at the March 27 event at Hayes Middle School in West Virginia, many students indicated a desire to be a doctor or a veterinarian - careers traditionally popular among middle school-aged students. Loftis’ class, however, knows what it takes to get to these popular career choices. After participating in the STEM Scholars program, students demonstrate a better grasp of the STEM skills required to pursue these careers.
Our meeting on March 7, the first in a series led as a joint effort between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Lumina Foundation, kicked off an eight month sprint of work to improve the talent marketplace. All of the organizations involved are experts on today’s emerging technologies, such as semantic web standards (e.g., linked data), distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain), artificial intelligence, and machine learning. We know that these technologies have the power, if leveraged properly, to transform the talent marketplace and drive future innovation.
Mobile and digital technology plays a critical role in empowering disadvantaged groups and improving socioeconomic and health outcomes for people in developing countries. Yet, women have fallen behind their male counterparts in technological adoption.
Closing the communications gap requires investments on both sides of the equation. Employers and education providers must work together to ensure the signals are accurate, clear, and verifiable. As the use of digital credentials expands, job seekers will gain unprecedented insight into the link between what they learn and the sort of employment opportunities that exist in their community -- or around the country. And for employers, the improved signal-to-noise ratio means a higher percentage of qualified applicants for each job opening, and improved ability of hiring managers to identify the best candidates for their position.
Breaking down STEM barriers starts in the classroom, providing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning in an inclusive digital environment. And this education shouldn’t be limited to high school students. Igniting STEM interest in middle school increases girls’ STEM interest later in their education.