Tech Careers Need Makeover

U.S. Chamber of Commerce launches effort to make science and technology more attractive to teachers and students
An the fight to recruit more young Americans into the sciences, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has partnered with other industry groups in an effort to double the number of science graduates in the next 10 years.

"We want more homegrown professionals so we can keep our technological edge," says Arthur Rothkopf, education director at the Chamber of Commerce. The Education for Innovation Initiative is working with the federal Department of Education to encourage colleges to produce more science and math teachers and will provide technology and other support to those teachers. "We want students to focus on science and math at an early age," Rothkopf says.

The initiative recommends building public support for science, math, and technology; upgrading K-12 science and math curricula; and increasing funding for research and development. The group wants the federal government to offer incentives to teachers and students that would make studying and teaching science and math more attractive. These include loan-forgiveness programs, improved teacher salaries, and supplements to Pell Grants.

According to the National Science Foundation, the number of U.S. college students graduating with science, technology, engineering, and math degrees has decreased by 20% in the past 20 years.

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Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
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