Gary Farina, Executive Director of the Michigan STEM Partnership discusses STEM in Michigan on Mobile Technology Assn of Michigan podcast, 'Michigan Mobile Musings' http://dld.bz/eTbgh
Importance of STEM Education in Michigan
Careers in the STEM (Science,Technology, Engineering & Math) fields are the fastest-growing careers in the global marketplace; they're also the most in-demand jobs in Michigan.
Investment in STEM initiatives is beneficial for Michigan companies as it enables them to participate in preparing today's youth to fill the jobs those same companies have now - and will have in the future. In today's rapidly advancing hi-tech environment - in every industry - our students will be required to perform tasks that we may not yet be able to conceive of today - but yet we need to begin preparing them for.
An example that showcases the importance of STEM careers to the state's economy; even during the recent recession, amidst historically high unemployment, particularly here in Michigan - large numbers of jobs in STEM fields were still going unfilled, even in Michigan! The demand for staff to fill STEM-related positions has only continued to increase as the economy has continued to improve, and is expected to continue to do so for many years to come.
THE PERCEPTION OF STEM IS FAR DIFFERENT THAN THE REALITY!
We must help students - and their parents - understand that careers in STEM are opportunities for exciting, challenging and financially-rewarding, high-satisfaction jobs.
We in the State of Michigan must also work together to strengthen STEM education within schools, create job-training programs for in-demand fields, and integrate STEM with other fields and courses.
Our core focus must be to ensure that we are preparing students to meet the needs of the high-wage, high-skill jobs that are rapidly becoming available in STEM fields in Michigan and across this country - and do everything we can to show them that those rewarding careers can be achieved here in Michigan.
We must invest in STEM initiatives that will prepare our students not only for the careers of today - but also for the careers of tomorrow, in spite of the fact that today's innovation eco-system means that its unlikely we can truly predict exactly what those specific careers will be. But we can give them the STEM skills they need to adapt, as the industries they enter continue to evolve.