Our nation is in need of highly qualified STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) workers now and in the future. Studies have shown that students who build their STEM skills also develop higher levels of analytical thinking skills, which are essential for 21st Century learning and work. By 2018, STEM occupations will account for about 8.6 million jobs in the U.S. economy, an increase from the 7.3 million jobs in 2008. In addition, between 2008 and 2018, studies predict that there will be 2.4 million new jobs created in the STEM realm, making it the second fastest growing sector of the economy.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that at least 8,654,000 U.S. STEM jobs will exist in 2018. Nearly 28% of high school freshmen declare interest in a STEM-related field—around 1,000,000 students each year. Of these students, over 57% will lose interest in STEM by the time they graduate from high school. Half of all STEM jobs are available to workers without a four-year college degree, and these jobs pay $53,000 on average—a wage 10% higher than jobs with similar educational requirements.
Blue-collar STEM workers earn an average of $47,000 annually, 22% higher wages than in jobs with similar educational requirements. STEM workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher enjoy an even more substantial premium, with average wages of nearly $96,000 for super-STEM jobs (18% advantage) and $88,000 for high-STEM jobs (14% advantage).
DLA Proposed Solution
The mission is to prepare all students to be competent, capable citizens in a technology dependent society. This is accomplished through a STEM-centric program that develops a pipeline to STEM jobs by featuring a main line education approach focused on standards-based foundations, gender awareness, socioeconomic concerns and general learner needs. It is also important to help students establish good “Engineering Habits of the Mind” to expand their open-ended problem solving skills at all levels.
The problem identified by the Digital Learning Alliance is the fact that high school and college graduates find themselves unqualified and ill-prepared for available jobs. Our STEM endorsed companies will align technology and innovation industry needs with public high school and higher education initiatives to ensure that the future workforce development needs of industry are met, and to safeguard your state’s economic prosperity by ensuring there is a workforce ready to take on the high-quality and high-paying STEM related jobs.
- Improve under-represented minority and low-income student growth
- Close achievement gaps
- Decrease dropout rates and increase high school graduation rates
- Improves teacher and principal effectiveness through progressive and exciting curriculum
ThomasNet.com Career Journal report on how Employment Outlook for STEM Professionals Is Robust — and Moving Beyond Traditional Occupations
Evaluating the impact on student engagement, test scores, course grade, attendance, and retention rates at 34 U.S. higher education institutions.
DLA STEM Initiative Template
DLA Endorsed Bill Template
Additional Issues Under Review
Digital Learning Alliance has identified several additional issues. As we add member companies who have a solution that serves the issue, we will update our information. Those additional areas under review include:
- Social Studies
- Dual Immersion
- Special Needs
- Remedial Education
- Graduation Rates
- Student Debt Burden
- Employment Opportunities
- Economic Growth Modeling
Spanning Every Educational Level
- Assessment and Accountability
- Student Information Systems
- Online Learning, 24/7/365
- Broadband Connectivity
- Special Education
Click any issue below for the details of the current DLA National Legislative Platform
- Math Improvements K-12
- STEM Shortages
- Dropout Prevention and Recovery
- College Readiness
- Cost of Higher Education
- Student Records
- Blended Learning Management Systems
- Workforce Alignment and SLDS (State Longitudinal Data Systems)
- English Language Learners
- Literacy Improvements K-12
- Bullying, Violence and Safety
- Professional Development
- Parent Engagement
- Student Data and Privacy