The Business of Education
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Industries all across the country are bracing for worker shortages over the next decade due to the looming retirements of Baby Boomers. Yet those corporations with jobs requiring science and math skills are facing an additional problem – getting young people interested in taking these rigorous courses.
The Wall Street Journal reported on March 6th, that “in a 2007 survey of more than 270,000 college freshmen conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, 7.5% said they intended to major in engineering -- the lowest level since the 1970s.”
The article outlined how businesses, such as Lockheed Martin and Deloitte & Touche, are designing curriculum for high school students to become more engaged in the science, math, technology, and engineering fields. While for years corporations have turned to schools for promoting products, companies today are looking to promote careers.
These companies are providing free lesson plans, classroom materials, and even engaging in programs such as Project Lead the Way, a national non-profit that develops engineering coursework used in more than 2,000 schools nationwide.
"We're already within the window of criticality to get tomorrow's engineers in the classroom today," says Jim Knotts, director of corporate citizenship for Lockheed. "We want to address a national need to develop the next generation of engineers -- but with some affinity toward Lockheed Martin".
While the article criticizes some companies for offering incentives to promote their own brands, these businesses are really focusing on the need to develop their future workforce where our school system has failed to lead.