SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING CAREER TRANSITIONS

Funder: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, via the Urban Institute

Policy makers and industry leaders are once again concerned about the inadequacy of the U.S. Science and Engineering (S&E) workforce, citing lack of preparation by U.S. natives and the decline, or potential 
decline of immigrants entering U.S. graduate schools and S&E workforces. The remedy typically proposed – by business groups, public policymakers, and educators – is for more and better science and math education in grades K-12. The focus is on increasing exposure to, and performance in, the science, math and technology fields. These “consensus recommendations” focus almost exclusively on the supply side factors of workforce development. Despite nearly universal support for these recommendations, and the intrinsic value of improving education, review of the data leads us to ask, “Do the consensus recommendations capture the whole story?”