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Old 11-29-2023, 04:05 PM
 
Location: moved
13,697 posts, read 9,791,429 times
Reputation: 23589

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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalUID View Post
That said, part of the issue IMO is the constantly shifting needs of individual companies and industries at large. Like I said in an earlier post, my field didn't even exist when I was in high school over 20 years ago which is probably considered STEM-adjacent. There are tons of college major programs and hybrid major programs that I never heard about when I was in college. UX, AI, ML...it's an alphabet soup of relatively new fields that exist today and will probably look vastly different in 10 or 20 years from now. Hell, with automation, I certainly wouldn't be counting on accounting to be a safe bet for someone born today. Jobs will still exist in that field, but far fewer than there are today and far, far fewer than there were 20 years ago.
This is what happens when we define subfields too narrowly, and employers hire too narrowly. AI and ML are all part of computer science, which itself is part of applied math. If we had a popular general major of "applied math", that would cover...

* anything to do with the internet, cryptography, computer graphics,...
* statistics, "data science", actuarial science,...
* quantitative finance
* forecasting of various kinds, from meteorology to petroleum prospecting to elections and jury profiling
* many areas in physics and engineering, especially those using numerical or analytical methods
* CNC manufacturing, autopilots, control systems, robotics,...

In other words, if you have a deep, fundamental understanding of linear algebra, differential equations, real and complex analysis, topology and abstract algebra (sorry, I'm getting carried away), then you can rapidly learn any of the aforementioned 6 bulleted items quickly and effectively, on the job.
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Old 11-29-2023, 04:05 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
27,712 posts, read 28,831,990 times
Reputation: 25334
If you are cut out for science or engineering, then you will be automatically inspired to go into those fields. It is everywhere.

You won't need to wait around for others to inspire you.
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Old 11-29-2023, 04:52 PM
Status: "Good to be home!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
24,147 posts, read 32,639,629 times
Reputation: 68490
Forcing square pegs into round holes is poor practice. Many people find nothing about STEM to be interesting. Additionally, it's connection with the military industrial complex, is a turn off to some.

We also need Critical Thinkers. Writers. Sociologists. Anthropologists. Social Workers, Psychologists, and others.
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Old 11-29-2023, 04:55 PM
 
Location: NMB, SC
43,474 posts, read 18,573,805 times
Reputation: 35224
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
I can agree with most of that. I think K-12 needs to focus on a knowledge base that all students need, regardless of what they do after high school. That does not mean that there can't be exploration of careers and trades and how to make wise career decisions.
But not at age 14. I've seen some ridiculous lesson plans on finance given to 12-13 year olds in MS.
Mortgages, CD's, stocks ?

Whoever puts these curriculums together really has no clue on reality.
If I were king of the hill...12-13 ...open a savings account at the bank and put part of your allowance in every X.

Let them explore in Junior/Senior year via elective classes.
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Old 11-29-2023, 04:58 PM
 
Location: NMB, SC
43,474 posts, read 18,573,805 times
Reputation: 35224
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
If you are cut out for science or engineering, then you will be automatically inspired to go into those fields. It is everywhere.

You won't need to wait around for others to inspire you.
I used to ask the kids what their favorite subject was and that should be where they look for a job.
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Old 11-29-2023, 05:25 PM
Status: "Good to be home!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
24,147 posts, read 32,639,629 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMSRetired View Post
I used to ask the kids what their favorite subject was and that should be where they look for a job.
You were right, and still are.
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Old 11-29-2023, 05:47 PM
 
12,904 posts, read 9,164,788 times
Reputation: 35066
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
This is what happens when we define subfields too narrowly, and employers hire too narrowly. AI and ML are all part of computer science, which itself is part of applied math. If we had a popular general major of "applied math", that would cover...

* anything to do with the internet, cryptography, computer graphics,...
* statistics, "data science", actuarial science,...
* quantitative finance
* forecasting of various kinds, from meteorology to petroleum prospecting to elections and jury profiling
* many areas in physics and engineering, especially those using numerical or analytical methods
* CNC manufacturing, autopilots, control systems, robotics,...

In other words, if you have a deep, fundamental understanding of linear algebra, differential equations, real and complex analysis, topology and abstract algebra (sorry, I'm getting carried away), then you can rapidly learn any of the aforementioned 6 bulleted items quickly and effectively, on the job.
You've made a very important and intelligent point. School is about learning the fundamentals, not guessing a specific major years in advance. I dont get why so many only think in terms of specific majors. And to me the most important thing about encouraging STEM is to NOT discourage before the interest even starts.
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Old 11-29-2023, 06:34 PM
 
8,318 posts, read 3,958,535 times
Reputation: 10659
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
We have posters in this forum who want to tell their children what their career/job choice should be.
And the title of this post suggests that our nation should tell children what their career/job choice should be.

No, kids should chart their own course to go into careers that will be fulfilling to them, and not be unduly influenced by parents or anyone else. It should be fully their choice as to what they are going to be doing for 30-40 years or more. Of course, parents can and should make suggestions, and, as with many students, teachers or other respected non-family adults may set examples that would make them consider certain fields. Even our government might provide incentives to get young people to consider particular fields of study. But it's the kid's ultimate choice what they will do for the rest of their lives.
Of course it is their choice, but they should be fully enabled to make an INFORMED choice.

That's the problem with STEM. There are very few teachers or counselors with the background/knowledge/talent to describe or explain to a young person what a career in engineering or science really entails. For that matter most adults have only a vague idea of how an automobile is designed and manufactured or how any of the myriad electronic and mechanical devices they use in their daily life are made.

Co-op programs in high school are still relatively scarce unfortunately. High school students at all levels should be required to have rotations in real jobs in the real world, from food service to manufacturing and the arts and everything in between. Discussions and suggestions are simply inadequate to really prepare students to make an informed career choice.

Often when someone understands WHY a subject is important they are more motivated to learn it. Especially true for math - spend a few days in an automotive R&D center and watch the amazing work that engineers do on a daily basis, and that can spur the interest and drive to go back and learn the math and the science needed to pursue that career.
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Old 11-29-2023, 06:52 PM
 
14,457 posts, read 14,412,761 times
Reputation: 45975
One thing that is often overlooked in the push to get more students into STEM is that many people simply don't have the aptitude to succeed in a STEM career. Virtually every one of these careers requires knowledge of advanced mathematics. I am speaking of competently understanding calculus level math. IMO, very few students have the ability to enter college doing that level of math. I think you can try to blame the school system for not teaching math on that level. However, more likely the problem is simply that there aren't that many people out there who are capable of doing it. Maybe when it comes down to it only about 5% of high school graduates are "cut out" to succeed in these fields. I think it might make more sense to identify these limited few students rather than telling the entire student body they need to pursue a STEM career.
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Old 11-29-2023, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
51,101 posts, read 24,599,714 times
Reputation: 33124
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMSRetired View Post
But not at age 14. I've seen some ridiculous lesson plans on finance given to 12-13 year olds in MS.
Mortgages, CD's, stocks ?

Whoever puts these curriculums together really has no clue on reality.
If I were king of the hill...12-13 ...open a savings account at the bank and put part of your allowance in every X.

Let them explore in Junior/Senior year via elective classes.
Obviously it has to be done well. But if I have to choose between kids learning to use a microwave and learning how to make a budget, I'll take the latter.
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