U.S. Losing Competitive Edge in Science Education

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A recent study conducted by Pepper Hamilton LLP, a multi-practice law firm, found that the United States is steadily losing its competitive edge in science education compared to India, China and Japan. More than half of survey respondents said that U.S. schools are doing either a poor or very poor job preparing the next generation of students to become scientists.

 

Although the survey found that the United States is still considered the number-one country for science education, India, China and Japan followed close behind. Twenty-five percent of survey respondents said the United States was the world leader in science education, 18 percent said India, China and Japan were both rated at 15 percent, and nine percent said Germany.

 

This survey supports the long accord that careers in science, math and even technology are not promoted in the United States as they once were. Today, U.S. students are more likely to major in law, medicine or the liberal arts.

 

This survey also supports the buzz around looming skill deficits in the United States. The lack of budding scientists and mathematicians in the U.S. will undoubtedly affect the U.S. marketplace and influence businesses to perhaps offshore such job functions in the future if the trend continues. However, if businesses in these industries form strategic partnerships with schools—grade schools, high schools and colleges—perhaps this trend may be reversed during the next 10 to 15 years. Time is of the essence: So industry leaders, get a move on.

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