Monday, December 05, 2005

Craig Barrets on Science Graduates in Amercia

Intel's Charirman Craig Barret is on India and having talks with industry experts and political leaders on the future investments prospects. In a recent article published in Business week he seems to be worried at the rate which China ,Korea and other nations are churning out quality science graduates and on the other hand the quality and quantity of science grads coming out of US universities have dropped considerably.

Here’s what he has to say about the erosion of resources in America“We have a graduation gap: While the number of jobs requiring technical skills is increasing, fewer American students are entering -- and graduating from -- degree programs in science, math, and engineering. Why does this matter?

Science and technology are the engines of economic growth and national security in the U.S., and we are no longer producing enough qualified graduates to keep up with the demand.

These graduates -- like the Intel STS students -- represent a resource vital to American competitiveness that is eroding at home while being produced more rapidly and efficiently abroad.

He shows his concern at the overall share of engineering graduates who were awarded degrees. For the past three decades, about one-third of U.S. bachelor's degrees have been granted in science and engineering.

Asian nations far outstrip that figure, with China at 59% in 2001, South Korea at 46% in 2000, and Japan at 66% in 2001.Of those degrees, the number awarded in engineering also varied greatly: In China engineering accounted for 65% of all science and engineering degrees; in South Korea for 58%; and in Japan for 29%.

In the U.S. that figure is less than 5%.How did we get here?

A report released earlier this year by Achieve, a nonprofit organization that helps states raise academic standards, contends that we have institutionalized low performance through low expectations. Our high schools expect only a small number of students to take the advanced math and science courses such as algebra and geometry.

Another Achieve study showed that much of the math content on state high school exit exams is basic at best -- similar to material covered by foreign students in the eighth grade.
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