Worcester Colleges Award 54% of Degrees In STEM Fields
Thursday, September 19, 2013
The results of the review indicate that the area’s 12 institutions of higher education awarded 7,408 degrees. More than 4,000 of those degrees, representing some 54%, were awarded in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. Colleges and universities included in the review were: Anna Maria College, Assumption College, Becker College, Clark University, College of the Holy Cross, MCHPS University, Nichols College, Tufts University - Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Quinsigamond Community College, UMass Medical School, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Worcester State University.
Tools for success
STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and prepared the next generation of innovators to develop new products and processes that sustain our economy. Reports on STEM education and employment have found that economies with strong STEM presences have more vibrant and stable economies than those with fewer STEM-related jobs. STEM-oriented economies perform strongly on a wide variety of economic indicators such as job growth, employment rates, and wages.
According to Chamber president and CEO, Tim Murray, “Our institutions of higher education play a critical role in the region’s economy by producing talented medical professionals, engineers, high tech and medical entrepreneurs, and many other bright young professionals. We must ensure that they make the connections necessary while they are in school so that we retain these valuable assets in our workforce.”
A bright future
An estimated 7 of the 10 projected fastest-growing occupations over the next ten years will be in STEM fields. From 2000-2010, STEM occupations have grown 8% and are expected to grow twice as fast (17%) in the next ten years. Sixteen of the 25 highest-paying jobs in 2010 required STEM preparation and STEM workers earn 26% more than their non-STEM peers.
“Worcester is fortunate to have some of the best technology schools in the country – Worcester Technical High School, Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School, and Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School – to stimulate the interest of high school students and as a feeder to the many STEM programs in our post-secondary educational institutions,” said Murray. “The Chamber intends to bridge the gap between colleges and employers to underscore the importance of community engagement and experience as a way to retain these young professional graduates in our community.”
Making an impact
STEM experts and investors will present at the Education, Innovation and Venture Capital Panel slated for 2 pm. The moderator for the panel will be Tim Rowe, founder and CEO of the Cambridge Innovation Center. Panel participants are Brenna Venkatesh, co-founder and Director of Marketing Programs of Running Start; Kevin O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives; Mark P. Rice, Dean of the WPI School of Business; and D’Anne Hurd, JD, MBA, founding member of Boynton Angels. Admission to the panel discussion is free.
The panel will discuss how venture capital provided to early-stage, high-potential, startup companies is spurring innovation in technology industries such as biotechnology, IT and software. They will explore how the region can better capitalize on the synergies between our innovators and investors to create an even more robust start-up community in Central Massachusetts.
The Innovation Stage at the Expo will feature demonstrations by the robotics team at WPI, a leading player in collegiate-level robotics education, K-12 outreach, and research and development. The Tech-Know Commandos from Worcester Technical High School will demonstrate the robot that won them a national championship. MassDiGI (Massachusetts Digital Games Institute) at Becker College will demonstrate some of the digital games developed by students in the program.
The Central Mass Business Expo will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 2 from 9am-7pm at the DCU Center in Worcester. Admission to the Expo is free with a business card. For more on the Expo, visit: www.centralmassbusinessexpo.
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