United States universities have long been recognized as some of the best in the world. Approximately 5% of students enrolling in American universities are international students. Among the many prized educational institutions in the world, the United States holds the top three global university rankings with MIT, Sanford and Harvard. Other international schools, such as Oxford in the UK and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland also make the top 6 for schools being chosen in 2020.

Even with the recognition that our school system is prized internationally, it’s important to note that there are areas, which could be improved. The current standards of the curriculum at American universities are lacking in areas like science, technology, engineering, and math.

The Importance of STEM in an Evolving World

Nearly every job in America uses computer technology or engineering to function on some level. Electricians require fine-tuned electronic devices for monitoring energy output, doctors use a variety of machinery to monitor everything from heart rate to bone density, and even automotive mechanics use technology to scan vehicles for internal issues. Not to mention the importance of STEM information used for global communication, the use of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and all the apps and software that go with them.

How U.S. STEM Learning Compares to the World

In a world where technology has become prized over everything else, how can it be that our children aren’t obtaining a higher level of education in this field? The numbers have been improving, seeing a leap from 303 thousand STEM graduates in 1975 to 669 thousand in 2015. Compared with international graduate statistics, however, this is still low for an industry, which appears to be taking over in terms of global importance. For example, in the same year 12,593 U.S. students graduated with degrees in computer science compared to international graduation statistics showing 45,790 computer science degrees.

The country with the highest number of STEM graduates is China, followed by India. This tells us that other countries are noticing the importance of science and technology. Their efforts far outweigh our own, and yet, as you saw above – U.S. universities are still considered some of the best in the world.

What’s most surprising isn’t that the United States has fallen behind in what some are calling a STEM crisis. It’s that many of the international students surpassing our students in science and technology are attending American schools. In fact, 62% of the international students at U.S. universities are enrolled in STEM programs. Some educational experts suggest that without international interest in American science programs, they may eventually cease to exist.

In recent polls, international students accounted for about 81% of all electrical engineer students in the country and 62% of all mechanical engineering students in the country. These are high numbers when you consider that only roughly 5% of students enrolling in U.S. schools are foreign applicants. That means that these high number of global students enrolled in STEM programs come from a pool of only 5% of U.S. University students.

Supporting Students with STEM Education

Many Americans assume the reason for the lack of registration in STEM-based programs is based on intimidations. If students find the subjects too difficult, for example, it may deter them from applying for fear of failure. Therefore, science, technology, engineering and math programs are important for young generations.

Long before the university level, students can acquire the skills they need to be confident and successful in STEM careers. Extracurricular programs like those available through iCodeSchool offer summer camps, after school learning, high school boot camp courses, and even family classes for shared learning. Some STEM programs also include art in their curriculum, proving the importance of the subject in technology. These then become STEAM programs. Art is an important element in everything from web design to smartphone application creation. Combining art with technology education offers students a new level of learning and one that is valuable by modern standards.

Learn More About STEM Programs

At iCodeSchool we understand how important it is as parents to see our children succeed. This is one reason we’ve designed a curriculum to support students as early as elementary school. While learning STEM skills young is highly effective at improving future outcomes in these fields, it’s never too late to begin learning.

Our high school programs prepare graduates for entering higher levels of education in fields like engineering and technology. Our hope is that future generations will have the skillset and confidence necessary to succeed in these highly revered career paths.

For more information on STEM and STEAM programs, or to see what courses and curriculum are offered through iCodeSchool contact us today.