US DoD Needs Scientists and Engineers
:: Interesting article from govexec.com, about how the US Department of Defense is reaching out to students to encourage them to enroll in science and engineering programs, in order to head off an impending shortage in the near future. The article notes:
More students - American or other- wise - are graduating from U.S. universities. But interest in college-level science and engineering studies is waning. The military points to a decline among citizens and permanent resident immigrants, while NSF notes statistics showing that women and minorities are particularly under-represented. Citing NSF data, the military says the number of students earning bachelor's degrees in Defense-related science and engineering did not keep pace with the number of bachelor's degrees awarded overall between 1994 and 2001. Graduate and post-graduate enrollment slowed, too. During the same period, fewer than half the U.S. post-graduate scientists and engineers were citizens. The total of Ph.D. degrees increased, but the number of U.S. citizens earning them decreased.I was curious to read that interest in science and engineering is declining among American students. I am not aware of a similar trend in Canada, but I can report that interest in engineering on our campus, the University of Alberta, is skyrocketing. Between 1995/96 and 2003/04, our undergraduate engineering enrolment increased by over 30%, graduate enrollment increased by ~146%, and the number of engineering faculty increased by ~60%. With the National Institute for Nanotechnology scheduled to open on our campus in 2005, this trend should continue unabated for the next few years.