- Professional Development
In survey after survey over the last decade, employers have complained of difficulty finding workers with the right mix of skills, despite record numbers of job seekers and college graduates. Concerns about pervasive mismatches between worker skills and employer needs have driven a host of initiatives designed to fix the “skills gap”, so far to little avail. While the question of whether we are really facing a skills gap or some other kind of a gap–in wages, jobs, or expectations–is highly contested, there is ample evidence that navigating today’s labor market is more complicated than ever for students and job seekers. Even as employment opportunities pick up, college graduates are struggling to find good jobs and underemployment is at record levels.
Today I released a paper entitled Beyond the Skills Gap: Making Education Work for Students, Employers, and Communities that explores the skills gap from a different perspective – as a gap between the policies governing higher education and the skill development needs of students, employers, and communities. I explain how our higher education system has become our largest provider of job training programs and what that means for students and institutions. I also explain why our current policies for delivering higher education do not work well for matching education and jobs, and explore five policy gaps that are driving the poor results for students and employers. These policy gaps make it too easy for institutions to provide very low-quality career education programs while also making it too difficult for institutions to build the partnerships and programs that will facilitate student transitions to jobs and careers.
Read more here.
It's no secret that the students in the United States have fallen behind their global peers academically, particularly in math and science. The National Science Board – the governing body of the National Science Foundation – on Wednesday released a new tool based on its "Science and Engineering Indicators" report that presents the data in a user-friendly way for parents, educators and policymakers. The tool enables them to take a big-picture look at areas related to education and jobs in science, technology, engineering and math fields. “The STEM fields are critical to the nation’s economic future,” Kelvin Droegemeier, vice chairman of the National Science Board, said in a statement. “Our ability to innovate and compete depends on how well we do in science and technology. The National Science Board developed this one-stop answer center to provide a reliable resource on STEM education and careers.”
The data explorer examines different measures related to STEM education and the workforce in those fields, such as American high school students' proficiency in math and science, what proportion of public school students take and pass Advanced Placement math and science courses, the number of college degrees awarded in science and engineering fields each year and how the STEM job market has grown.
Go to usnews.com for more information.
Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering Rising Stars), is the premier middle school science and engineering fair competition.
SSP affiliated science fairs around the country nominate the top 10% of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students to enter this prestigious competition. After submitting the online application, 300 semifinalists are selected and 30 finalists are brought to Washington, DC. Finalists present their research projects and compete in team hands-on STEM challenges to demonstrate their skills in critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity.
Undergraduate College Students interested in Environmental Science Careers should apply this mentoring program to attend the annual science conference of Society of Wetland Scientists.
Attending professional science conferences is an important part of your academic training as a scientist. Conferences are essential networking opportunities for scholars and they also provide a platform to demonstrate your scientific skill and know how. The chance to meet fellow scholars and connect with possible collaborators and catch up with the latest innovations and discoveries is especially important for scholars from under-represented groups. Therefore, I encourage all eligible undergraduate students who are interested in ecology, conservation, environmental science, agriculture, natural resources, limnology, freshwater ecology and any other related or parallel field to check out this mentoring program.
Go to Scientific American for more information.
School has started and there has never been a better time to make eCYBERMISSION a part of your classroom! Sponsored by the U.S. Army and administered by the NSTA on behalf of the Army Education Outreach Program (AEOP), eCYBERMISSION is an online learning competition for students in grades six through nine. The competition challenges students to think about real-world applications of STEM by working in teams to identify a problem in their community and using scientific practices or the engineering design process to find a solution. Students can win on a state, regional, and national level, with national winning teams receiving up to $9,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds, valued at maturity.
Registration is now open for the 2014–2015 program year. Students registered by November 5 will receive a FREE STEM Research Kit, which includes a notebook, flash drive, and pencil. eCYBERMISSION is also giving away mini-grants this year to support teachers and their schools expand their STEM-based community projects in their classrooms. To apply for a mini-grant, teachers need to request an application from Chris Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org) prior to October 22 and then submit the application by October 29.
For more information, visit the competition website or contact eCYBERMISSION Mission Control at 1-866-GO-CYBER (462-9237) or via email at email@example.com. The deadline for registration is December 17, 2014.