Report: No Shortage of US Scientists and High-tech Workers

Sunday, 13 Jul 2014 09:44 AM

By Elliot Jager

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The US has more graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math than it needs to meet annual demand, CBS News reported.

Proponents of liberalizing immigration policy have insisted that there is a scarcity of highly-skilled, tech-savvy workers that is hurting business growth.

New federal data shows that about 50 percent of US engineering, computer, math and statistics majors are able to find jobs in their fields. About 75 percent of STEM graduates are working in fields unrelated to their degrees. All in all, unemployment among STEM grads is significantly below that for the general working population.

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There are approximately 180,000 STEM job openings annually for a million grads. This means that "the nation is producing more than enough quality workers in scientific and engineering fields — and policymakers and industry leaders should proceed accordingly," according to a 2013 article in Issues of Science and Technology by Rutgers University's Hal Salzman.

Graduates with degrees in health-related professions are more likely to land work in their chosen professions than STEM grads.

While there is a surplus of talent in some STEM fields, other skill sets in the sciences and engineering remain in high demand, a 2013 National Academies report said, according to  CBS.

When it comes to scientific research, said Michael Teitelbaum, of Harvard Law School, the US remains dominant. "There's no evidence that it has fallen behind international competitors in science and engineering," he said, CBS reported.

The new government data could prove helpful to students considering majoring in the STEM disciplines as well as policy makers addressing immigration reform, according to CBS.

Summing up the findings, Breitbart commented: "The high-tech industry, like Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us, has received largely a free pass on the issue in pushing for drastic increases in the number of guest-worker visas in amnesty legislation. That has puzzled some of the top scholars, especially in light of reports from liberal, nonpartisan, and conservative organizations that have all shown that the country has a surplus — and not a shortage — of American high-tech workers."

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