Higher pay, but fewer students = failing grades for North American STEM program
John Hayes posted on March 28, 2013 |

Conference board issues report card on engineering students

According to the report, the USA scored a "D" in terms of the proportion of Science, Math, Computer Science and Engineering graduates in 2010, and Canada scored a "C" when benchmarked against "peer countries".

Source: The Conference Board of Canada March 2103

These figures matter, according to the report authors, because graduates in these subjects form the underpinnings of innovation for societies. They state that North American societies aren’t graduating enough STEM students to be competitive. (To see this stated more eloquently, watch this powerful interview with Dean Kamen, founder of First Robotics.)

The other side of the coin is the potential for the students themselves. The report states, "Five years after graduation, engineers earn about $10,000 more annually than fine arts and humanities graduates, and upwards of $5,000 more than social science graduates." According to Matthew Nordan of Venrock, graduates are much more likely to have a successful career in one of these areas than they are as professional athletes or reality TV stars.

Although the Canadian performance in graduating technical students is better than the USA, neither country is getting materially better over time.

Source: The Conference Board of Canada March 2103

We can imagine that these "grades" would only get worse if the "non-peer" countries like India and China were included.

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