Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
Commentary
11/25/2009
05:28 PM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
Commentary
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

China Not So Worried About Math, Computer Skills

President Obama's making a new push to encourage and improve math and science education, in order to keep up in the global economy. In China, meanwhile, math and computer skills rank low as a requirement for driving innovation, a surprising Newsweek survey finds.

President Obama's making a new push to encourage and improve math and science education, in order to keep up in the global economy. In China, meanwhile, math and computer skills rank low as a requirement for driving innovation, a surprising Newsweek survey finds.Anyone interested in these issues should take a look at the Newsweek survey and accompanying articles. The survey compares attitudes about innovation and education through a survey of people in the China, Germany, India, Japan, the U.K., and U.S.

A few intriguing findings:

Very few Chinese (9%) see math and computer skills as key for their children to drive innovation. The majority (52%) of Americans do.

Instead, many Chinese (45%) see "creative approaches to problem solving" as a key skill to driving innovation, more than any other skill; only 18% of Americans cite it.

The overwhelming majority of Chinese (81%) think America's staying ahead of China in innovation; only 41% of Americans think America is staying ahead of China.

82% of Chinese think the U.S. is a technologically innovative country; 73% of Ameicans do.

With regard to education, I'm by no means arguing against math, science, or other technology education by pointing to this data. I've long advocated for STEM education. But I'm surprised to see such a low emphasis on creative problem solving by U.S. respondents, and such overwhelming faith in math and computer education. Perhaps it's a response to relative strengths: that Americans value creative problem solving but think we already do it well, while we consider our math/computer skills comparatively weak. That's my hopeful reading of the data. Because our measure of success in pushing STEM education won't be just pumping out more graduates. It'll be how we equip those grads to apply that technical knowledge in ever-more creative ways.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July 22, 2014
Sophisticated attacks demand real-time risk management and continuous monitoring. Here's how federal agencies are meeting that challenge.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.