The Facebook IPO has been an amazing thing. Fortunes have been made. Fortunes have been lost. Newscasters have been going on non-stop about it. The “water cooler” can’t seem to get enough of this one.

And don’t worry – we know you are not here to get stock tips….

You are here on this site because you are interested in education.

So, what does the Facebook IPO have to do with education? More to the point, what does the Facebook IPO have to do with STEM education? The answer in this case is pretty straight forward. Jobs. Lots of jobs today. Even more jobs tomorrow. And it is not just jobs at Facebook. We’re talking about lots of jobs at many growing technology companies. We are also talking about lots of jobs at many future companies that do not even exist today. Think about it. Facebook is 8 years old and in 8 years the Facebook employs over 3,500 people. That number doesn’t even come close to addressing the real number of how many jobs have been created as a result of Facebook – how many companies have built entire business, employing many people, all focused on trying to somehow add value to a “free” platform.

And so… now we are getting somewhere with the Facebook IPO and how it is connected to STEM education. The job market of tomorrow is going to have a much bigger seat at the table for those how have professional level STEM skills. And how does one obtain these skills? Well, it starts early in the classroom and continues from there, but without this early foundation the likelihood of a successful STEM based career decreases. In contrast, the job market of tomorrow seems to be trending towards a much greater emphasis and reliance on jobs specific to those with STEM training.

We’ve heard plenty about the big tech bubble of 2000 and perhaps we are sitting on another bubble right now. But even if we were to remove what some might term irrational exuberance for technology stocks, the truth is the job market is not on a bubble – what we are seeing instead is a trend and that trend is telling us the technology jobs are on a major upswing.

This view is not limited to just the stock market. We are also seeing technology make major inroads in the classroom. And yes, even our government is taking notice and have recently begun to push for passage of legislation called the “Startup Act 2.0″.

“A bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation to help American companies hire immigrant workers, particularly those with hard-to-find math and science expertise…”

Source: Senators beckon immigrant entrepreneurs and workers with Startup Act 2.0 – The Washington Post

Despite all the tough border talk, when it comes to STEM we seem to be willing to make exceptions. Why? Because we need to. Without these jobs our economy will stall. That is how critical these jobs have become to how our economy works.

And so we come back to the beginning. The Facebook IPO. If we strip away what Facebook does as a company and we focus purely on the sector in which Facebook operates (tech) it feels really hard not to be somewhat to very optimistic that there will continue to be a very healthy appetite for STEM jobs in the years to come. STEM jobs start with STEM education.

Image Source: Facebook Newsroom

 
  • http://cehdVision2020.com/ Jean Quam

    As you point out, the job market of tomorrow is going to have a much
    bigger seat at the table for those who have professional level STEM skill. STEM is significant for America’s education
    system given that jobs of the future increasingly require strong competency in
    STEM. Our university research shows that translating STEM into relevant
    topics—like climate change—can help K-12 students get enthused before college: 
    http://cehdvision2020.umn.edu/global-competitiveness/ And this helps generate
    interest in “real world” STEM issues to create critical thinkers and
    innovative problem solvers. Improving STEM education impacts not only our
    educational system, but benefits our economy, global stature, and quality of
    life.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Jeane! We could not agree more. We have developed Poly & Mer (http://www.whyscience.com/polymer) with your concerns in mind. We would be very interested in exploring how we have translated research results on STEM learning and engagement into Poly & Mer with you. Thanks again for sharing!

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