The Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University stated in their 2011 STEM report that by 2018, 92% of STEM workers will need post-secondary education. Of that 92%, 65% will need a bachelor's degree or higher and 35% will have sub-baccalaureate training.
The demand for STEM professionals has increased, but our education system has not been able to train STEM workers adequately. According to the report, "Our career and technical education system will need a stronger STEM curriculum at the high-school and sub-baccalaureate level that is more tightly linked with competencies necessary for STEM jobs."
Community colleges have become essential in preparing future STEM professionals and many colleges have already started offering more robust STEM curricula based on current and projected industry needs.
For example, the MentorLinks program has reinforced programs in advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, electronics, engineering technology, environmental technology, video game programming and welding to name just a few. But the government and current STEM professionals should do more to help prepare future STEM workers. How can we help community colleges turn out qualified, employable STEM workers?
To learn more about the MentorLinks program and what some colleges and Universities are already implementing to better prepare future STEM workers, read "Boosting STEM Education at Community Colleges" by TheAtlantic.com.