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Decline in Science Jobs! Why?

  1. Nov 23, 2006 #1
    Decline in the number of US Citizens interested in Science Majors! Why?

    The National Science Board warned of a “troubling decline” in the number of U.S. citizens studying to become scientists and engineers, even as the number of jobs requiring science and engineering training grows.
    Why is this happening?
    What can happen as a result of this?
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 23, 2006 #2
    Why it's happening is because science isn't taught in school. And when it is, they try to force-feed students the knowledge instead of making them curious about it. After all, science has advanced because people were curious about the natural world, so why not teach it that way?

    What can happen as a result of this? More $$ for me. :D
     
  4. Nov 23, 2006 #3

    ZapperZ

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    The title of your thread is misleading. There isn't a decline in Science jobs, just a decline in the number of US-born citizens interested in majoring in science.

    Zz.
     
  5. Nov 23, 2006 #4
    Exactly, i was thinking the same thing here. Besides, we have the same problem out here in Europe as well.

    This poll is worthless.

    marlon
     
  6. Nov 23, 2006 #5
    I don't mind. This just means more jobs for me.
     
  7. Nov 23, 2006 #6
    While it means more jobs for the rest of us, it also means a larger amount of ignorance in the general populace.

    Then again, it also means more money for me.
    Yay!
     
  8. Nov 23, 2006 #7
    it also means a future where there is less government funding for the sciences.
     
  9. Nov 24, 2006 #8
    Sorry for the misleading title. I've changed it now.

    But why is this happening? Is it because other fields seem to be more beneficial?
     
  10. Nov 24, 2006 #9

    Math Is Hard

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    Science is hard.
    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/38575
     
  11. Nov 24, 2006 #10
    Yay, it means there is a spot for me to get a job somewhere then :D
     
  12. Nov 24, 2006 #11
    Of course it's hard, but that is what makes it rewarding. Every equation I solve gets me a step closer to understanding the world. Reward enough for me!
     
  13. Nov 24, 2006 #12
    Do you want the cold, honest answer?

    It's because of the shrinking intellectual quality of the gene pool. Stupid people keep having children, and they keep having more children than smart people.
     
  14. Nov 24, 2006 #13

    Math Is Hard

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    Do you have any data to support this claim?
     
  15. Nov 24, 2006 #14

    Astronuc

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    One of my goals is to change that!

    I think for many students, they are turned off from math and science because it requires hard work, but more than that, I think in general, the quality of the education in math and science is rather poor. If one falls behind because one is not exposed to necessary concepts, one may become discouraged. What would have been relatively easy with appropriate preparation because difficult or overwhelming.

    I know we have exceptionally good teachers, but they seem few and far between. We need to improve math and science education, and support our excellent teachers.

    And we need students who are motivated and willing to accept challenges.
     
  16. Nov 24, 2006 #15
  17. Nov 24, 2006 #16

    Math Is Hard

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    Thank you, PhysMaster. But I was responding specifically to plum, and there is nothing in the link you provided that backs up his/her statement.
     
  18. Nov 24, 2006 #17
    In a way, this is good news for me xD less competition when i apply for college

    As a High School freshman, I can persionally say that the kids just aren't interested. The problem is partially in the way that it is taught, and in the way society works today.

    Science teachers in the eyes of most of my peers at other schools, think of science class and I know from experience that the first thing that comes to mind for them is sitting in a dull room while an ill-prepared teacher lectures them for well over an hour as the kids fall asleep. If this is your only real experience of being exposed to science, you will probably want to choose a career that has nothing to do with facts.

    Second of all is the mindset of society. Kids today peer into their future, and they want to see something easy and full of money. I strongly doubt that a fourth grader will be staring at a charts of starting wages when he first stops to consider which job gets alot of money. And really, when you think of the job market, the first thing that comes to mind isn't engineer. The people who dream of becoming engineers are almost always directly related to an engineer, because they know about engineering from personal experience.

    In 'tv society,' the only person who dreams of growing up to be an engineer is the pocket protector styling kid with braces and thick rimmed glasses who talks to everyone in a nasally voice and must use an inhaler while talking to girls. Thats not exactly the image we should be giving our little kids about careers in science.
     
  19. Nov 24, 2006 #18

    ZapperZ

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    How does this answer the question that MIH is asking? The NSF, of all things, never ever does any survey on "intelligence". Please double check what claim MIH was asking plum to support.

    Zz.
     
  20. Nov 24, 2006 #19
    Sorry, I don't have anything to back up my claim, but if I did it could easily be criticized from various angles (which is why such sensitive studies are seldom if ever done).

    The basic facts as I see them are this: Economic class is never a measure of intelligence, but on a broad level it is an indication of it. Not all that rich people are smart, but good income generally assures good diet, positive learning environments, and good education. In developed countries, the middle class is shrinking due to things like outsourcing, and class divisions are becoming more apparent. If you look at the kind of families where most children are being born, it is definitely on the lower not the upper end of the income spectrum. If you look at poorer nations, the birth rate is downright out of control. The average age in a typical African country, for example, might be 25. And those kids aren't dumber because they're black; they're dumber because they grow up malnourished.

    Anyways, this is a complex and sensitive topic about which I'm admittedly ignorant, although I do find it interesting.
     
  21. Nov 25, 2006 #20

    ZapperZ

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    If there is TWO things that I wish people would LEARN out of being on PF, they would be to examine how one draws up a conclusion and to pay attention to the SOURCE of information. You have a flaw in the former, and none for the latter.

    You have just admitted to not having anything valid to draw up such a conclusion, yet you freely state such a thing as if it is a fact. It isn't. Your anecdotal observation cannot even be verified by anything. In fact, I can easily counter it by pointing to you that there are many extremely poor vietnamese immigrants that came to the US with barely the clothes on their backs. They certainly did not have all the characteristics of a better income family that you described. But yet, the percentage of success of the children from these immigrants are unbelievable. They would be a group of people that I could easily point to as an example where poverty does not have any correlation to "intelligence" or the ability to do science.

    This subject is off topic for this particular thread. It is why I find it puzzling why you brought it up in the first place, especially when you have no valid data to support it. If you wish to debate such an issue, please use the Social Science forum.

    Zz.
     
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