CSC CR Insight
In this Corporate Responsibility Quarterly Update, we talk about the growing importance of STEM education initiatives as well as CSC's role in resolving this skills gap.
Investing in Our Future: Bridging the Gap in STEM Education and Workers
With baby-boomers reaching retirement age in huge numbers over the next few years, and with technology jobs on the increase, we know there will be a shortage of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workers in the years ahead. Last week CSC supported the first US News STEM Solutions Summit held in Dallas. They expected to attract up to 1,000 interested educators, policy makers, industry representatives, STEM students and world leaders in STEM occupations into a dialogue on solutions to this issue facing the United States. Seventeen hundred people showed up, and apart from running out of programs, the conference was a huge success. It was also an incredibly well hosted forum, the idea conceived between Brian Kelly , Editor & Chief Content Officer, U.S. News & World Report and dynamo connector, Edie Fraser of STEMconnector.org. The interest and dialogue the conference created was an indicator that this forum was long overdue. Panelists ranged from Dr. Mary L. Good, Special Advisor to the Chancellor for Economic Development, University of Arkansas and one of the world’s leading chemists and educators, and Tom Luce, Chairman National Math + Science Initiative to Kareem Abdul –Jabbar, Global Cultural Ambassador, retired basketball star and academic inspiration and included many other leaders from science, technology, engineering and math.
World leaders in technology such as AT&T, Boeing, Dell, Cisco, monster, Ingersoll Rand, and the National Science Foundation, to name only a portion of the sponsors, provided the endorsement that this was a needed platform. People stopping by the CSC booth often asked me why we would be interested in this conference. STEM is our business; our employees are engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, and all other forms of science majors. In fact not many years ago we were the world’s largest employer of astrophysicists. We need to draw from a good pipeline of skilled STEM applicants to keep our business growing. One data point I took away from the conference is that the United States is on a par with Mozambique in the number of engineers we graduate annually. We are not punching to our weight.
Increasing our support of STEM initiatives and getting involved in the discussion and solution is what Corporate Responsibility is about. As Dr. Lucy Sanders of National Center for Women and Information Technology said to me, “CSC has computer science in your name, you should be working this.” If it takes a village to solve societal problems, then it takes the technology giants becoming involved to solve the STEM education crisis we have in the United States. For more information, visit www.StemConnector.org or www.USNewsSTEMSolutions.com.