President Braveman Reflects on the Need for Science and Math Graduates

31 Oct

Nazareth College President Daan Braveman’s thoughts on the national need for more math and science graduates: 

I read with interest a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education titled, “High Demand for Science Graduates Enables Them to Pick Their Jobs, Report Says.” The article discussed a recent study, which revealed that graduates who major in science are in high demand in a variety of jobs. It noted that graduates with a bachelor’s degree in a science major earn greater salaries than those with a master’s degree in non-science majors. Forty-seven percent of graduates with a bachelor’s degree in a science field earn more than even those with a doctorate in other fields.

Other studies have stressed the national need for more students who are trained in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. A few years ago, the National Academies of Sciences wrote a report called, “The Gathering Storm,” which found that the U.S. must produce more students interested in these fields in order to remain competitive in the global economy. It noted that innovation is the prerequisite for developing the new ideas that will produce jobs in the future. Such innovation requires more people trained in math and science. This, however, is where the crisis emerges. We, in the U.S., are falling behind other countries in producing individuals with skills in those fields.

Our new Integrated Center for Math and Science, which will open in fall of 2012, will be the finest facility in the region for preparing students in the fields of science and math. The center will include labs and classrooms with the latest equipment and technology. Another distinguishing feature of the center is the range of spaces that will enable us to expand opportunities for undergraduate students to work with faculty members on exciting  research projects. These projects will stress interdisciplinary and collaborative learning, allowing students to develop an appreciation for both the theoretical and the practical application of science and math.

Nazareth is pleased that it will take a leadership role in the region for offering precisely the kind of educational experiences needed to meet the national demand for students who are well prepared in science and math fields.

To read more from President Braveman on this and other topics, visit his blog.

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