Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How Math and Science Can Save Our Children (and the Economy)

Posted by Corky Ellis

At a recent company meeting, Kepware CEO Tony Paine said to me, “We just can’t find enough engineers in Maine to grow fast enough.”

What? There are more jobs available out there than people to fill them? 


Here’s an interesting finding from a recent study by the Maine Development Foundation: unemployment levels drop by the amount of education an individual has attained.For those in Maine who have only completed some high school, the unemployment rate was 14.9% in 2010, while for those with a bachelor’s degree, it was 5.4%. The unemployment rate dropped to 1.9% for people with doctorate degrees.

Students, are you listening? Parents, are you there?

This is serious stuff. Maine needs a workforce that is proficient in math and science, and that can write well and read comprehensively.Turn off the television and stop the texting from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. If your child says, “I’m not good at math,” send them to a Kumon after school program. If they are getting bad grades, tell them they can’t play football, lacrosse, or baseball, watch TV, or be on Instant Messenger until they improve. Encourage them to join a robotics team.

These are good jobs we’re talking about. They are highly compensated and fascinating, allowing people to design bridges, buildings, and assembly lines; to teach at high schools or universities; and to even work on Wall Street (they need math quants and engineers too).

The economy of the future will require increasing math and science knowledge, whatever field you choose. If you have no math knowledge, you will be unemployable.

In later posts, I’m going to discuss what our company, Kepware, is doing along with some other great companies to help solve this problem. I will also discuss what Maine needs to do to differentiate its workforce to create a competitive advantage that will both attract new businesses and create a startup culture for tech companies.

Talk to you again soon.

Watch the Video to Learn more about Kepware