Our nation is facing a serious skills gap between the number of open positions in STEM fields and the number of people qualified to fill them. This was true long before 2020, but the workforce disruption and growing dependence on technology brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have underscored just how critical it is that we address this gap.
As businesses, schools, and other organizations try to meet the needs of an increasingly digital-first world, we need a strong talent pipeline at every level of the workforce. To accelerate this transition, we must develop greater collaboration between the business and academic worlds and within the higher education landscape itself.
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Industries that depend on qualified candidates in STEM fields have driven much of the growth and innovation in this pipeline in recent decades. However, despite our advancements, the skills gap continues to hold us back. As our nation grapples recovering from an economic recession and overcoming rising unemployment caused by COVID-19, we must look to these sectors again for opportunities for renewal.