Australia's Productivity Commission has spoken out against political parties who have encouraged students to pursue STEM subjects in school. The Commission says the $48 million project was "wrongheaded" and only added to the number of unemployed graduates in the country. The qualm is that the parties are trying to shape a market without letting it run its own course.
The Labor Party have said that STEM graduates are not doing well with regards to finding jobs in Australia. According to The Australian, the only STEM degree graduates that are faring well, are the ones in the following industries: Healthcare, Mining Engineering, and Surveying.
The Productivity Commission have outlined the issues graduates face today:
- Employment opportunities improve after three years of graduation
- 20% of graduates in natural and physical sciences have do not have jobs
- 1/4 of science degree holders say they are currently doing a job that does not require their degree
- Graduates who studied outside of the science realm utilize the skills and knowledge they gained during their degree, whereas science degree holders cannot say the same
- 30% of IT degree holders also report that they do not utilize their degree in their current jobs
Are the engineers getting the jobs? Some might be, however, there is also a growing number of engineering PhD graduates that have reported the volatility of the job market in Australia right now.
Elsewhere, at the U.S. News STEM Solutions Conference, the executive director of the Seattle Jobs initiative, John Kim, said that STEM is critically important for "living wage jobs" in the country. He said that positions are getting harder to fill in the STEM industries. The senior director of Replication and Strategic Partnerships at the Jane Addams Resource Corporation, Manny Rodriguez, said that 650,000 manufacturing jobs are not being filled, every year.
Governments should be filling the disconnects between what degrees are teaching and what jobs are requiring. If 650,000 manufacturing jobs go unfilled, but are available, then a university somewhere is teaching the wrong curriculum.