(04-13-2017 02:17 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote: We do need more STEM graduates
I think there are plenty of engineering undergrads. The "problem" is really just that "too many" of them are not Americans. Especially at the graduate level, but that's really another thing entirely.
(04-13-2017 02:17 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote: more accurately, the "TEM" portion since the "S" majors actually don't have much better jobs prospects than their liberal arts counterparts if they don't go to medical school
Let's get even more accurate:
M - why do math undergrad majors have any better job prospects on average than biology, chemistry, physics, or geology undergrad majors? If you're not planning to be a math teacher, I really don't know what job is specifically recruiting math undergrads. You could say actuary, perhaps, but that has its own special programs. You could say data scientist/analyst, but then that's probably better suited for a statistics undergrad. Math -- pure math especially -- is as much an art as any liberal art, frankly. Which is rarely related to "engineering applied math", mind you.
T - there is no such thing as a "Bachelor's of Technology". That's because technology is really just the black magic that any particular company develops in order to translate some concept or idea into a product, via some set of design and manufacturing techniques (literally, technology).
So now we're down to it: "STEM" really just means "get more American kids to graduate with engineering bachelor's degrees!"
(04-13-2017 02:17 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote: The Wall Street Journal had a study a few years ago about where prestigious schools made an impact the most on salaries and it was very clear that it had the LEAST impact in engineering by far.
It actually makes perfect sense: Apple, Google, etc know full well that they can get just as good a product by signing an engineer/CS undergrad from San Jose St as they can from Stanford or Berkeley, and that new grad will be happy and content with a lower starting salary.
Kids that come out of big name schools with an undergrad degree, have very big expectations for their professional lives.
(04-13-2017 02:17 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote: STEM majors are simply HARD unless you have the requisite math and science aptitude... and they're still hard even if you *do* have such aptitude.
Engineering applied math, the kinds of concepts you'd need to master in order to graduate with a bachelor's in engineering, are really not that difficult, compared to what even math undergrads do. At the high end, you're talking:
- convolution/correlation type integrals
- finding solutions to first/second order ordinary differential equations (the heat equation, for example, like the poster mentioned)
- sinusoid basis transformation of time-waveforms (frequency analysis)
- basic linear algebra and matrix operations
- possibly a few other concepts that are specialized to a type of engineering (for example, civil engineering and forces), but are around this level of difficulty
They might seem scary, but they really aren't. Any math or physics undergrad would be able to do these.
(04-13-2017 02:17 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote: I don't think free tuition really can change much about whether students would pursue STEM majors or not.
This is probably right in any case. But just thinking, maybe
a kid is more likely to "give it a shot" on an engineering degree, if he isn't as worried about tuition? Doesn't mean he'll make it.
(04-13-2017 02:17 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote: in which case can you really tell everyone outside of that group (which is the vast majority of high school graduates) that they shouldn't be going to college at all? There are still a lot of jobs in this world that are outside of the STEM fields and many of them require a college degree for *hiring* (which is admittedly distinct from whether that college degree is really necessary for those jobs' *skillsets*, but that's an entirely separate discussion).
And this is the take home message. Bravo!
Just off the top of my head: business and nursing. We're not going to fund any of these, anymore??? Come on ...
(04-13-2017 03:03 PM)zibby Wrote: I'm sure my taxes will go up to pay for people to take free communication and theatre classes.
I'm sure my taxes will go up to pay for some kid to go to high school, who doesn't do any homework and doesn't care if he graduates.