Why math? We need more STEM students to compete in today’s world

This post is the second part of a continuing series about why we put our poor kids through all this crazy math education to begin with. The other sections are:

  1. Learning math gets you a better job
  2. We need more people trained in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in order to compete in today’s world
  3. People need better math skills just to stay afloat in today’s world
  4. Learning math teaches you how to think
  5. Math is an art like music or painting; it makes us human
  6. Math is the ultimate form of Beauty and Truth

We need more STEM students to compete in today’s world

This one is true, without question.  More and more, the jobs worth doing, and the ones that actually change the world, are in STEM fields.

I’m not going to talk for hours about the big picture and whose competing with whom, and why.  That’s all besides the point.  Here, we talk about individuals, families and teachers and how these ideas affect them.

So, given that its a good thing to have more folks in STEM fields, what does this mean for individuals?

Probably the most important thing I can say about this is just how important it is to spread  good education around.  Not everybody is going to be a scientist or engineer.  The world would be a sadder place if we didn’t have any music or art.  The important point is that we don’t know where we are going to find the folks who are able to be the next generation of scientists, engineers, programmers or mathematicians.

The more people who have a chance to learn, and the more who have a chance to learn well, the more people we will find who are willing, able, and enjoy working on these important fields.

The next most important thing?  The math is taught properly.  If math is taught properly, in context, then far more children will discover they are good at it than every have before. With a better understanding of math, what it is and what it is good for, comes a far better chance of actually choosing a STEM field when they get older.