Upjohn Institute Press

Pages: 224
Year Published: 
2017
$40.00 cloth
ISBN: 9780880996402
$20.00 paper
ISBN: 9780880996396

The STEM Dilemma: Skills that Matter to Regions

Fran Stewart

Fran Stewart dives into the murky waters where education and economic goals meet to confront several key issues facing policymakers and educators, including the role of public investment in human capital, the types of human capital investment that provide the greatest public return, and whether those investments should vary by region.

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She shows that not all high-paying jobs require STEM skills; that not all good-paying, highly skilled STEM jobs require college degrees; and that "soft skills" are important for STEM as well as other high-paying jobs.

According to Stewart:

"Research findings do support efforts to shift public resources toward the specific development of valuable technical skills. However, findings also indicate misconceptions and misperceptions about human capital concentrations and contributions, suggesting that the connection between human capital and economic well-being is not nearly as straightforward as STEM advocates suggest or as most STEM policies presume."

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