STEM Talent: Increasing Demand, Decreasing Supply

Four Ways to Close the Gap

The demand for talent in STEM careers is growing, but student interest is not.

Student interest and achievement in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) have seen little change over the past four years. But the number of STEM careers in the United States has exploded, growing more than 10 percent from 2009 to 2015. The additional 8.9 percent growth expected between 2014 and 2024 will only further the demand for new workers in the STEM fields.

Policymakers emphasize the importance of educating students for STEM-related jobs. But what can educators, administrators, parents, and students do to close the gap between STEM demand and STEM supply? A new report from ACT highlights eight key findings on STEM preparedness and four policies decision makers can implement to spur change.

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Gretchen GuffyGretchen Guffy is Director of Policy at ACT. Based in Washington, DC, Gretchen oversees development of the organization’s education and workforce policy agendas and associated recommendations. She also coordinates support for states working to meet federal accountability requirements related to ACT assessments.

Previously, Gretchen was Vice President of Policy and Research at 50CAN and, in her role as Strategic Data Fellow through the Center for Education and Policy Research at Harvard, directed the District of Columbia’s state education data warehouse. Gretchen earned her master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago.

Shannon HayesShannon Hayes is a policy analyst at ACT, where she is part of the team that develops the organization’s policy agenda and makes policy recommendations. Her work spans the education and workforce spectrum but has focused particularly on workforce development and STEM education.

Before joining the policy team, Shannon ran ACT’s nationwide College and Career Readiness Campaign. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Bucknell University and is currently working toward her master’s degree in public administration at George Washington University.

Crispin GravattCrispin Gravatt serves as Grants Coordinator and data guru with the Idaho STEM Action Center. Crispin helps oversee the selection of highly qualified educators for STEM AC funding opportunities, as well as gathering and reporting final outcome data.

Previously, Crispin conducted independent research on the effects of technology use in educational settings. Through this research, he was selected to represent the Western/Pacific United States and territories as a Human Rights Delegate, discussing matters of education and technology development with the United Nations and global industry partners.