South Korea outpaces the U.S. in engineering degrees

Any eighth grader who wonders if anyone actually uses algebra should ask Hyungtae Lee, an electrical engineer who writes algorithms to build computers with the power of human sight. It’s a skill he learned first here in South Korea, where undergraduate students are five times more likely to major in engineering than their counterparts in the United States, the Washington Post reports. U.S. universities and companies often look abroad for students and workers to fill positions because not enough Americans have the necessary skills or training. To help meet the demand, President Obama has announced a goalto train 1 million more graduates over the next decade in engineering and related fields. At a White House science fair in February, he told the young contestants, “You’re not just trying to win a prize today, you are getting America in shape to win the future. You are making sure we have the best, smartest, most skilled workers in the world, so that the jobs and industries of tomorrow take root right here.”

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