- Is there a dearth of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) talent in the U.S.? Or is the fear of the STEM talent gap a myth? It depends on who you ask, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- Some organizations and research say that skills gaps exist and are a serious, growing problem. On the other, there are doubters such as Robert Charette, who wrote a controversial article, The STEM Crisis is a Myth, in 2013.
- Apart from earlier research on the issue, a 2012, White House sponsored report said that there is a pressing need for about 1 million more STEM professionals than the U.S. over the next decade if the nation expects to keep its "historical preeminence" in science and tech. To meet this goal, the report said, the U.S. "will need to increase the number of students who receive undergraduate STEM degrees by about 34% annually over current rates."
In his article, Charette wrote that every year U.S. schools "grant more STEM degrees than there are available jobs," adding that factoring in H-1B visa holders, it's "hard to make a case that there’s a STEM labor shortage."
Charette added that STEM workers throughout the career pipeline, from new grads to mid- and late-career Ph.D.s, struggle to find employment as many employers — and he mentions name brands such as Boeing, IBM and Symantec — continue to lay off thousands of STEM workers.
So what are HR leaders from employers who use STEM talent to think of it all? They might want to read "STEM crisis or STEM surplus? Yes and yes," an article that tries to resolve the ongoing STEM talent demand debate. The Journal blog reports that "both sides are right." In other words, it depends on which STEM employment sectors you are talking about and other related issues.