Emerson Survey Indicates STEM Worker Shortage is at Crisis Levels

Emerson Survey Indicates STEM Worker Shortage is at Crisis Levels

ST. LOUIS — Despite a national targeted focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and education over the past decade, 2 out of 5 Americans believe the STEM worker shortage is at crisis levels, according to results from the fourth annual STEM survey by Emerson announced today.

While the survey found students today are twice as likely to study STEM fields compared to their parents, the number of roles requiring STEM expertise is growing at a rate that exceeds current workforce capacity. In manufacturing alone, the National Association of Manufacturing and Deloitte predict the U.S. will need to fill about 3.5 million jobs by 2025; yet as many as 2 million of those jobs may go unfilled, due to difficulty finding people with the skills in demand.

This critical STEM need is why Emerson has continued to invest in education across all levels and through its “We Love STEM” program and partnership with YouTube’s self-proclaimed science nerd Hank Green.

“Emerson has been dedicated to elevating the criticality of STEM education for many years,” says Kathy Button Bell, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Emerson. “We have supported everything from collegiate engineering programs to hosting ‘We Love STEM’ days for our own employees’ children. This is a focal point of Emerson’s global values initiatives.”

Survey results show the industry has made some positive strides in STEM awareness, but there are opportunities to improve: Less than 50 percent of parents say their daughter is encouraged to pursue a STEM career. This encouragement gap represents a significant opportunity, as nearly half of respondents (48 percent) expect the number of STEM jobs in the U.S. will grow in the next decade.

As the perception of STEM careers shifts to include manufacturing, about 3 out of 4 (74 percent) respondents said they believe manufacturing jobs are important to the U.S. economy, with 6 out of 10 (62 percent) agreeing that manufacturers should do more to train and prepare their STEM workforce.

These business partnerships will become increasingly important, as the survey found only 1 in 3 adults (33 percent) believe teachers currently have the resources they need to provide a quality STEM education. Emerson is helping address this issue through its “We Love STEM” initiative and partnerships with universities and technical colleges, providing hands-on digital worker experience for current students and to reskill workers. Two of Emerson’s recent educational investments include a manufacturing incubator facility at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis and an automation technology center, to be named the Emerson Advanced Automation Laboratory, at Texas A&M College of Engineering.

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