CDI Corporation

U.S. schools not offering enough tech education, study finds

The economic future of the U.S. – and, for that matter, the world – will be contingent on tech development. A new report by the Business-Higher Education Forum in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers projects that 77 percent of all jobs are going to require tech skills in some form or fashion by 2020.

However, if the state of science, technology and manufacturing education continues at its current state, American students may not learn everything they need to succeed. The BHEF-PwC research endeavor discovered a number of considerable deficiencies in STEM course offerings.

For example, among 2,000 K-12 educators surveyed, 80 percent said their schools don’t offer courses in data analytics. Given the advanced nature of such instruction, this isn’t necessarily surprising, but other shortcomings – 64 percent of schools not teaching app design, 42 percent lacking robotics educations and 41 percent not having web design classes – could be much more detrimental, the report found. Additionally, many educators aren’t provided the necessary training to instruct students in these subjects, with only 10 percent of those surveyed expressing confidence in teaching high-tech curricula.

It’s well understood that the tech sector will create jobs at an astonishing rate over the next few years – a 13 percent growth rate from 2016 to 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the report compiled by BHEF and PwC identifies an uncertainty regarding the quality of American tech education that will have to be addressed, one way or another, in the near future.