Does a STEM degree guarantee a job? Not always.

math (Medium)Does STEM always spell success for college graduates?

Whenever I write about the efforts to bolster U.S. graduates in science, technology, engineering and math, readers send me notes about their problems finding work despite a STEM degree. And that includes math teachers.

(If you are interested in this topic, take a look at this Duke study on which countries produce more engineers and the job prospects for those graduates. The report concludes: Our research shows that companies are not moving abroad because of a deficiency in U.S. education or the quality of U.S. workers. Rather, they are doing what gives them economic and competitive advantage. It is cheaper for them to move certain engineering jobs overseas and to locate their R&D operations closer to growth markets. There are serious deficiencies in engineering graduates from Indian and Chinese schools. Yet the trend is building momentum despite these weaknesses…The calls to graduate more engineers do not focus on any field of engineering or identify any specific need. Graduating more engineers just because India and China graduate more than the United States does is likely to create unemployment and erode engineering salaries.)

A recent story in the AJC examines the assumption that there are American jobs aplenty in STEM fields. Here is an excerpt:

In some STEM careers, the employment picture is downright lousy. “Record Unemployment Among Chemists in 2011, ” screamed the March headline in Science magazine’s Careers Blog. A headline from June: “What We Need is More Jobs for Scientists.”Unemployment in STEM fields is still well below the general population and slightly below college graduates in general. That “record” unemployment for chemists, for example, was 4.6 percent, compared with overall U.S. unemployment at that time of 8.8 percent.

Nevertheless, the glut of workers in some STEM areas (resulting in flat wages, and STEM grads forced to take jobs in non-STEM fields) directly contradicts the widely held view that the United States suffers from a critical shortage of qualified STEM graduates.

The truth, many experts say, is more complicated. “In a general sense, science and innovation do create jobs and drive growth, ” said Elizabeth Popp Berman, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Albany (N.Y.) whose book “Creating the Market University” examines the history of university research and its economic impact. “As a nation, having lots of scientists and people inventing stuff is good for us.”

But that doesn’t mean all STEM graduates have a guaranteed job, Berman stressed. The STEM employment picture, Berman said, is “very mixed” and largely dependent upon a student’s particular major. Petroleum engineering majors are doing very well these days; biologists and chemists are not.

Some studies, meanwhile, have challenged the notion of an overall STEM worker shortage — instead finding that the United States is producing vastly more STEM graduates than there are STEM jobs awaiting them. As science organizations and corporations continue to sound the STEM shortage alarm, critics charge that these groups are motivated by self-interest — tech companies, for example, have claimed a shortage of trained workers even as they laid off thousands of U.S. employees, and moved those jobs to low-wage developing countries.

“It’s a way for them to sort of excuse why they’re shifting so much work offshore, ” said Rochester Institute of Technology professor Ron Hira, who has testified before Congress on the need to tighten the legal loopholes that allow such maneuvers.

In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott’s has sometimes mocked liberal arts majors as impractical. Speaking to a Tallahassee, Fla., business group last year, Scott asked: “Do you want to use your tax dollars to educate more people who can’t get jobs in anthropology? I don’t.”

Despite being mocked by Florida’s governor, anthropologists have been deemed important to national security by the U.S. Department of Defense. Its recent study on STEM-related workforce needs found that the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have “highlighted the importance of sociology and anthropology, ” and it recommended “ongoing investment” in those two areas, even as the wars wind down.

Why did anthropology show up in a military STEM report? By some definitions, anthropology is a STEM field. There is no clear, universally accepted definition of what careers comprise STEM, making it easy for job projections to be radically altered based on what industries are counted.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

85 comments Add your comment

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 31st, 2012
9:56 am

Based on the president’s approach to job creation, it’s apparent that he thinks companies are moving jobs offshore because we don’t regulate, tax, and harass business sufficiently here.

Pride and Joy

December 31st, 2012
10:00 am

Many US Companies are outrageous liars. They lobby congress to allow more HB1 visas to hire foreigners to work in the US in STEM fields, particularly the IT fields, yet there are many IT graduates in the US. The truth is, foreigners are cheaper to hire and to outsource.
Companies like HP hire American managers but outsource all the technical IT work to Chinese laborers who promise the world in IT work and pay the Chinese 13 dollars and hour for development work — and unknown portion of that goes to the actual developer.
UNFAIR competition in the form of cheap labor is the reaso many graduates cannot get a job in IT, because they have to compete with the Chinese.
I also hire STEM graduates and I prefer to hire Americans but the problem is I received so many resumes from Americans from HBCUs who literally couldn’t use common, easy, everyday, grammar on their resume. Resumes, obviously, should be perfect. In the summary, one candidate wrote “I HAS experience doing X…I HAS experience doing Y…” and the rest went on as poorly as the summary.
When I called the candidate, he/she was not aware their grammar was incorrect and became very defensive and, of course, didn’t get the job or an interview.
For those who might say “it’s just a resume…” think again. I work for a Fortune 500 and there is no way I would put someone in front of my client with poor grammar. I expect technical documents to be written well and I am not going to hire a third person to correct mistakes one should have learned not to make in the fifth grade.
Students need to learn grammar in GRAMMAR school. Poor grammar will hold a person back and limit their income for the rest of their lives.
We need to ensure that all American children can write and speak English correctly.

Georgia, The "New Mississippi"

December 31st, 2012
10:05 am

Good thing graduates are free to move to India and China if they think their degrees are superior to those over seas. Just make sure you leave your politics, drugs and guns home in the US,

mountain man

December 31st, 2012
10:15 am

“Students need to learn grammar in GRAMMAR school. Poor grammar will hold a person back and limit their income for the rest of their lives.
We need to ensure that all American children can write and speak English correctly.”

AMEN, Pride and Joy! This is what I have been saying all along. Not teaching students “how to think”.

indigo

December 31st, 2012
10:22 am

I don’t think some of this is new.

When I was in college, many years ago, a Bachelors degree in Chemistry, Biology and Physics was only the first step.

If you went no further, jobs in these fields, with only a BS, were very difficult to find.

abacus2

December 31st, 2012
10:26 am

Hear, hear, Pride and Joy! I teach science. I grade all written work for grammar, syntax, and spelling. You should hear the parents screech. How dare I, a science teacher, presume to take away points because their little snowflake refuses to edit their work? May I include your post in next year’s syllabus?

Centrist

December 31st, 2012
10:28 am

Getting a STEM degree from a community college is not going to lead to a good job unless the economy is roaring. Ranked University (public or private) degrees with a decent GPA in certain STEM fields are where the available jobs are in this down economy.

Mixing low demand STEM majors and noncompetitive graduates (low GPA’s/ community colleges) in to STEM degree/job statistics yields the headline of this blog.

will-o-the-wisp

December 31st, 2012
10:33 am

Yes, grammar is important, but I do not think America wants smart , innovative people, since they may potentially threaten oil, natural gas and coal.

Grob Hahn

December 31st, 2012
10:41 am

One of the ways I have seen companies avoid the problem of the marching morons, particularly when they are forced by the local government to hire locals, is to divide the project into groups. The engineering and management group is where all the responsible people who can write clearly and speak clearly end up. The locals are first sorted out with drug testing. The ones that remain go into training classes, written by the company in modern language. Sometimes the training lasts the life of the project, but as long as they are in training, they are not able to destroy any equipment.

These are the kinds of expensive solutions they choose to work around regional or national ignorance. I see bloggers all over the US who still can’t use there, their and they’re correctly. When you call them on it, they call you a racist or what have you. In fact, a great deal of grammatical criticism is called racism. Why? Because good grammar is “acting white” and we can’t have that now can we?

If you don’t want to act like white people, why ask them for jobs? Why not form your own non-white companies and do your own thing? But do consider that most white Americans are not racists nor are most American businesses racist. It is not racism to demand basic competencies and the cornerstone to all of those competencies is having good language skills so you can communicate.

Listen to TV advertising and tell me how often you hear anything other than good, white-created grammar being spoken. Even Popeye’s ads are clear and concise and the message gets out. No code words. No nicknames (never once met a CEO named G-Money or Peanut). This article makes it seem like a technology degree might not be the best thing for most Americans and they are right. BUT, the Americans with these degrees are still seeing unemployment in the 3% range. What is the figure for the average Ebonics-speaking, hostile toward whites, undereducated loser?

I bet it’s much higher!

But, it can always be blamed on racism. Racism is the reason we don’t have Ebonics spell checkers in offices. Racism is the reason we let all the Mexicans in to steal black jobs. Racism is why we bring in all the non-white IT guys to take black jobs too. Confusing isn’t it? But the confusion goes away when you take the hatred of whites out of the discussion.

Then it becomes a common American problem.
Grobbbbbbbbbbbb

liberalefty

December 31st, 2012
10:53 am

@Lil Fairy Fallout

relax dude OBAMA got 4 more years….lol..hahahaha

teaching taxpayer

December 31st, 2012
11:15 am

I am a self-described “grammar hawk” (considered by some a “grammar Nazi”) who can tell you that perfect grammar still won’t get you far unless you can think logically and write persuasively. The latter depends on knowing “how to think.” The ability to marshal facts correctly takes you to the starting line. Being able to think while moving quickly carries you to the finish.

RCB

December 31st, 2012
11:23 am

I was upset when I found out my son was going to major in Comparative Literature at UGA several years ago. He DID begin with good spelling skills, but had only average writing skills. Upon graduation, he was able to take his ability to write conclusively, comparatively, persuasively, etc. to a wonderful job. His writing skills were immediately recognized and within 6 months he became the point-person for all Congressional correspondence. His grammar and writing skills will make his work life much easier over his lifetime. STEM graduates must have this ability also, to a degree.

paulo977

December 31st, 2012
11:50 am

teaching t ” teaching taxpayer

December 31st, 2012
11:15 am
I am a self-described “grammar hawk” (considered by some a “grammar Nazi”) who can tell you that perfect grammar still won’t get you far unless you can think logically and write persuasively
____________________________________________________________

Of course …….change the drilling for tests that is going on day after day in the classrooms now!!!

Private Citizen

December 31st, 2012
12:12 pm

Allow me to interrupt this thought-stream with a statement of opinion. Somewhere far off the map, my intuition tells me that teaching students to write “persuasively” is a really crummy, superficial, and limited way to teach writing. I say this as a person who has taught writing. In the official state tests, the essay topic is either “persuasive” or “expository’ (information). Anyway, I sure hope they are not doing this outside the United States, because it is a terrible way to teach writing. I never heard these distinctions myself until being a government schools teacher. Making students do “persuasive” writing is like telling them to put on the cone-shaped “salesman/woman” hat and to sell you something. And that’s how these essays read. I have not spent any time on this to provide alternatives, but maybe if we taught formal logic along with writing, that could provide a structure. Thank you for your attention to this interruption of your scheduled activity. :-)

Atlanta Mom

December 31st, 2012
12:17 pm

Something to keep in mind. We are currently going through a bump in the population waves, a lot like the baby boom. That will tend to create more unemployment.

Private Citizen

December 31st, 2012
12:20 pm

Turning essay writing into official doctrine of “persuasive” and “expository” is about like saying all animals are either “pit bull” or “poodle.” Meanwhile, let us not forget the golden steed, the horse that can take the rider anywhere. http://www.akhalteke.cc/uploads/1/0/5/3/10530954/2074081_orig.jpg

Yes, as a matter of fact, I have seen wild horses in the wild, on a river, in the canyons.

A reader

December 31st, 2012
12:42 pm

A STEM BS degree in general is not a guarantee of a job. If a student wants that guarantee then they need to major in engineering, choose a school with a good reputation and a good engineering school, and maintain at least a 3.0.

As someone else pointed out, getting a BS in biology, chemistry, or math is just the beginning for those fields. If a student wants to pursue a career in those fields then they must realize that an MS is a minimum requirement. Again, the student must pick a school with a good reputation and maintain a good GPA.

RCB

December 31st, 2012
12:57 pm

@Private Citizen… Off to work, so just a quick response. I respectfully disagree about persuasive writing. I guess you could take the view of a “sales” theme, but I found that those were critical skills for students participating in debate, student government, mock court, etc. Teaching a whole semester of it would obviously be overkill, but I still think it teaches writing skills. Personally, I HATED those assignments in school, but it gave me practice for writing my local county commissioner-ha!

teaching taxpayer

December 31st, 2012
1:07 pm

Lest anyone think good grammar, logical thinking, and persuasive presentation are some “gub’mint school” crackpot theory, I submit a pretty good authority on both rhetoric and various subject matters, the philosopher Aristotle. A simple Google search of “Aristotle ethos logos pathos” will turn up ideas on how to speak (and write) effectively that have worked for thousands of years throughout the Western world and that continue to serve students, such as mine, today. These ideas go well beyond “skill and drill” pure grammar exercises and rely upon correctness, clarity, and persuasiveness.

atlmom

December 31st, 2012
1:12 pm

persuasive writing is critical! how about if you are in a meeting and you need to persuade others in the room the next steps in the project, or how to proceed for the project, or what software to buy or whatever – you need to know how to persuade people to your way of thinking.

I have a degree in math – and couldn’t get a job in a recession a couple of decades ago – went back to school for my MS in applied math – and they were beating down my door to find me…in today’s economy, though things aren’t necessarily that peachy – there are a lot of people out of work,and a lot of GREAT people out of work.

bootney farnsworth

December 31st, 2012
1:16 pm

oh for God’s sake.

no degree on earth guarantees anything. where on earth did anyone ever get that idea?

bootney farnsworth

December 31st, 2012
1:23 pm

@ centrist

not sure where you’re getting your information from:

the point of community colleges are not to put kids into the workplace – with a very few exceptions.
the point of community colleges are to serve as a low cost alternative/gateway into 4 year schools.
while they offer STEM courses, the point is to give the students a leg up into their upper level coursework.

it is long established students who attend community colleges tend to do better in their Jr & Sr years than the “native” students of the 4 year schools CC kids transfer to.

“name and ranked” schools are much better at pumping up tuition based on perceptions like yours than they are in actually providing a higher quality education.

Prof

December 31st, 2012
1:28 pm

The barely veiled racism in some of these posts disturbs me. It’s obvious in Grob Hahn’s 10:41 am post, with his allusions to “locals” who clearly are locals of color, his comment that “good grammar is ‘acting white,’” and his use of the outdated word “Ebonics.” It’s also clear in Pride & Joy’s 10 am post, with the reference to poorly written resumes “from Americans from HBCUs.”

P&J’s post itself has incorrect grammar: the first sentence contains a comma splice; there is an implied subject-verb agreement problem in paragraph 2 since the “Chinese laborers” don’t “pay the Chinese 13 dollars and [sic] hour”; the first sentence in paragraph 4 is a run-on one and needs a comma after “Americans”; and there are sentences with subject-verb agreement problems in paragraphs 5 and 7.

As a professor in a large USG University, I see papers with grammatical errors from white suburban students, white rural students, Hispanic students, African students, Pacific Rim Asian students, Indian Asian students, as well as African-American students. Believe me, poor grammar is not restricted to one group alone.

bootney farnsworth

December 31st, 2012
1:32 pm

@ P&J

having worked closely with many students who have attended HBCUs, and dealt with my own GPC students I can say you are either

-a REALLY poor recruiter of talent or
-playing fast and loose (ie, lying) with the truth.

yes, its true there are some HBCU kids who couldn’t compose a sentence correctly with two Ph.Ds helping them, but I can say the same about some Tech, MIT, and even Liberty university students.

bootney farnsworth

December 31st, 2012
1:35 pm

@ prof

grob has some points, however poorly phrased. how you express yourself is vital to success in the workplace. try dropping gs, y’alls, and basic southern jargon outside the deep south – as well as many places within it- and you’ll get the same results.

P&J is just flat out trolling

Math Teacher

December 31st, 2012
1:47 pm

P & J is correct. It’s happening in education too. There are 8 teachers at the high school I teach at on a visa, paid less than what others make, but have been hired to fill vacancies in areas of critical need – mathematics and science education.

We say one thing and do another. That’s the American way.

Tony

December 31st, 2012
2:06 pm

Before Gerald Bracey’s untimely death, who was busy debunking the myths surrounding the need for more STEM graduates. While some claims that STEM employment opportunities are growing faster than other fields may be correct, that truth must be put into context of the overall job market. The vast majority of jobs in the US are service related. STEM jobs are only a small segment. What a person must understand is that even though the demand for STEM jobs may be increasing at a high rate, there are still fewer jobs in that sector.

Liberal arts degrees produce thinkers. We need thinkers in our society and in the world. Liberal arts degrees equip graduates with a broad base of knowledge that allows them to quickly adapt.

Anecdotally, I have a STEM degree and have worked in the private sector. I have used the technical skills extensively as an educator, too. In addition, as part of my undergraduate work, I took as many courses in music, religion, and humanities as I possibly could. Personally, I am convinced this broader approach to my studies have aided me greatly in my career.

There is a strong movement now to add arts related topics to STEM programs because the importance of creativity must be included in students’ learning opportunities.

PS: Effective communication skills, including writing, grammar, and spelling, are always an asset. As a science teacher, these components were always graded in my classes. And Gov. Rick Scott is a fool if he continues his efforts to devalue liberal arts programs in Florida.

Private Citizen

December 31st, 2012
2:09 pm

On-demand “persuasive” writing with assigned topic puts the student is a position of having to fake a bunch of emotive “sales” pitches about an assigned topic about which they know nothing. There is no depth to the writing, and the emphasis ends up being on doing some kind of sly massage of the reader like you’re in a sauna or something. It is truly hack writing lacking in purpose or content and particular, assigned “persuasion” is like “assigned conviction” where someone else tells you what to promote and what to express conviction about. It is like another one of the thousand dirty tricks from the Georgia Authority Masters who keep orgasming over tell other people what to do. It’s bad. It makes and writer into a prostitute to have to please authority, something to state rulers seem to get off on. Can I make it any clearer? This is in the state that has a state required Regent’s Test making university students write the same form in a 5-paragraph essay for the sole reason that the state does not want to show their backside from having graduated a college student who got through wholly on multiple choice tests? Never seen anywhere in the world or United States with the dog and pony show “Georgia Regent’s Test.” If they knew how to teach writing to begin with, they would not have to force students down the barrel of their authority gun to do this garbage in college. It is DISGUSTING and I’m really done playing Mother Hen with these be-knighted jerks running the dysfunctional state system and inventing their thousand requirements of authority because it gives somebody a pleasing icy quiver and let’s everybody knows who’s who and that they’re on TOP and you are going to eat their DIRT signed into law. Is that persuasive enough for you?

Private Citizen

December 31st, 2012
2:21 pm

Grob’s, errrm hyperbolic post is entertaining with his talk of “G-Money” and “Peanut,” but he seems a little uniformed re: Box Car Willie “Divorce Me C.O.D.” and / or the numerology of Red Sovine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o9l1Z1UGtw

Albert Hindside

December 31st, 2012
2:21 pm

Why have you focused on HBCU and not college student in general Pride and Joy? Having known students from GT, Emory, Auburn and other elite schools, they also have grammar issues that reflect poor studies or grammatical errors similar to students from HBCU’s. It’s not exclusively a HBCU problem but your focus appears to reflect a negative bias on these schools in general.

My network engineering professor is from China and it’s hard to understand his grammar but is he a ignorant and not worthy of teaching the class? I understand enough to know he is very smart at STEM concepts. I wonder if the same bias is focused on Asian students and professors that misuse English grammar.

NoMoreRawDeal

December 31st, 2012
2:33 pm

I wish we’d have a solar flare/eEMP event that wiped out all our electricity and made all advanced technology worthless. Mainly because I am so sick of listening to STEM graduates talk about how awesome they are and how much money they make.

Private Citizen

December 31st, 2012
2:36 pm

atlmom, if you are in a meeting and you need to persuade others in the room the next steps in the project

And what the Haides does that have to do with writing? That sounds like a meeting I do not want anything to do with. Doesn’t sound like any meeting I know of out in industry where real things happen.

I find it queer that you consider an environment where you have to “convince everyone” to be some type of reference for environment. When I work with people that I respect based on their history of accomplishment, they don’t have to convince me of anything. When I produce digital engineering documentation of the conditions of something, I do not have to convince anyone of anything. It’s like you’ve taken the opposite of scientific method and declared it some kind of operation norm, and then pasted it onto writing? as a component of writing.

Is this “country reasoning” from the flea market? That’s what it seems like to me and it does not track environment where there is real accomplishment. It sounds like something from a marketing agency, who “seduce” in order to “sell.”

Nan

December 31st, 2012
2:41 pm

Persuasive wrting!! Are you people sure we are deficient in that area. Unfortunately our journalist put far too much emphasis on persuasion and far too little on fact finding. I find in the work place, from which I am now retired, SUBTLE persuasiveness was required and helpful but ANYTHING BEYOND THAT WAS AN INSULT TO THE READER’S/ LISTENER’S intelligence. A good high school geometry course is excellent preperation for logic that does not require a great deal of philosophy study (an indirect approach to logic at best). Always assume if you present facts fairly and completely that your audience may form their own logical conclusions without being insincerely brow beaten with the presenter’s agenda.

Keepin It Real

December 31st, 2012
2:42 pm

I have two STEM degrees, a MBA and 18 years experience. Guess what? That’s right, I’ve been applying for 10-15 jobs per week the last several months.

Nan

December 31st, 2012
2:43 pm

? after 2nd sentence

Old Physics Teacher

December 31st, 2012
2:45 pm

well, well, well, So “To get a good job, you need a good education” is just some smoke “educational leaders” and politicians blew up the public’s … you-know-what trying to place the blame for jobs going overseas on teachers rather than on themselves. And now the AJC (and Duke) has finally broke the story that I’ve been clamoring about for years. I hate to say “I told you so.” I really, really do, but “I TOLD YOU SO!”

Private Citizen

December 31st, 2012
2:46 pm

Yes, I bet Napolean and Genghis Kahn spent a lot of time on “persuasive writing.” It is said that Isaac Newton would practice “retaliation… and he was usually very determined, nasty, and successful against his opponents.” -And that he rejoiced when he ruined one of them and they ending up dying as a result.

Moral of the story: “Persuasive writing” is busy work intended for peasants. And that’s the triple truth, Ruth.

Jack ®

December 31st, 2012
2:47 pm

GeeWhiz! Show me your dangling participle and I’ll show you mine: But only if you spell it correctly.

Mitch

December 31st, 2012
3:17 pm

The sad thing about this STEM fad is that it has been going on for a dozen years. Before a STEM grad can get a job there must be a need. Our country and state desperately needs people who can think and lead. We need business and cultural thinkers and do’ers. We could use a few thousand people who understand international commerce. We need some “kitchin table economists” who understand how our economy works and how to fix it. STEM folks will find their way when the time is right..

GeorgiaPeach

December 31st, 2012
3:28 pm

It amazes me how grammar and black people derailed the original topic. What really amazes me is how those who are targeting blacks and use of grammar are effing it up as well…
So, back to the original topic…
As an African American STEM professional, I work for a company that preached doing away with the number of offshore contractors only to see the number of offshore contractors grow at an alarming rate. I hate it, but the problem is corporate trying to save a dollar. It’s cheaper to hire offshore, meanwhile, our salaries and job prospects are going down the toilet.
Costs of living rises, yet salaries are not keeping up.
So, what do we do as AMERICANS? Not just white, black, red or yellow, but as Americans who want the best for our families?
Instead of tearing down others, why not come up with a solution.

MM

December 31st, 2012
3:33 pm

As a former engineer (BS and MS Electrical from GT) I was very much aware that industry peak groups were/are constantly harping on a shortage of engineers even though the opposite was evidently true. (Conditions vary from time to time and place to place.) It’s an old scheme practiced by many professions to drive up the supply of professionals to keep salaries down. That was especially true before foreign workers were made so welcome.

A most disappointing aspect of this lower wage strategy was the gullibility of the media to pick up on these false stories to the point that it’s common “wisdom” that science and engineering jobs are high-paying and easy to get. Such fallacious truisms are the foundation of so much bad career planning. It would be funny if so many people were not misled down rosy paths. I guess it’s just part of the price we pay to have such a powerful corporate sector that controls everything we see and hear. Free market? Freedom? Hardly.

atlmom

December 31st, 2012
4:00 pm

when i was looking at colleges, one of them told me that with an enginnering undergrad degree and an MBA I could write my own ticket…I thought: what? That would be 7+ years away (an engineering degree almost never takes only 4 years to begin with), and how could this college administrator know what the job market would look like in that time?

I ended up with my STEM degree because I that is what was interesting to me, and college is about getting an education.

William Casey

December 31st, 2012
4:02 pm

@PRIVATE CITIZEN: Are you referencing “Napoleon” and “Genghis Khan?”

atlmom

December 31st, 2012
4:05 pm

private citizen: are you saying you never use any persuasive skills in a company? really? they just give you a budget and you never speak with anyone and never have to convince anyone of anything because you are the best employee ever? wow, really? I don’t know any companies that work that way unless they are a sole proprietorship with no employees.

TTT

December 31st, 2012
4:09 pm

Limit HB1 visas so salaries for US STEM grads will rise. Limit legal and illegal immigration of low-skill workers and watch wages rise for poor Americans. Sure, consumers will pay more, but US public policy should benefit ALL Americans, not just corporate managers and wealthy consumers.

TTT

December 31st, 2012
4:12 pm

@prof

I’m not an English professor, but is this a comma splice when the “yet there…” phrase is dependent on the initial independent clause? Just curious.

They lobby congress to allow more HB1 visas to hire foreigners to work in the US in STEM fields, particularly the IT fields, yet there are many IT graduates in the US

Pride and Joy

December 31st, 2012
4:18 pm

To abacus2 — you have my blessings!

galofthe80s

December 31st, 2012
4:23 pm

Pride & Joy…your post highlights the importance of presenting your best in all that you do. Proper communication skills are vital to success in the business world.

lahopital

December 31st, 2012
4:33 pm

I suspect that engineering graduates from accredited programs still have an advantage on starting salaries over other college majors. This advantage is based as much on the shortage in supply as any increase in demand for engineers. I also suspect that, after working for a company for 5 years or so and seeing other salaries, they wonder if they should have enjoyed their college years a little more and majored in a business related subject. In the end, it’s not the degree that matters. Having a deep voice, height and good hair is what’s needed for success.

RAMZAD

December 31st, 2012
4:37 pm

We have lawyers driving taxis, so the argument about STEM degrees and unemployment is misplaced.

Fact is that the people with STEM degrees are more flexible in the workplace. Any engineering graduate can teach mathematics or trained to do a multiple or technical tasks in short order. They work better with data. The do better with quantitative thinking.

Given a choice between hiring a mathematics graduate and a political science graduate- the mathematics graduate will get hired all day long.