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December 20, 2013
Advances in medicine and science improve our health and help us to understand the world around us. From balancing a household budget to preparing your taxes to following a recipe, math and science touch every part of our lives. Today, we rely on math and science in ways we could not imagine 30 years ago.
Innovations in technology help us communicate across the globe with ease through satellites, the Internet and cell phones. Every day they also help us to work better and conduct our daily lives. And yet fewer students are choosing to learn the basics of algebra or calculus, and fewer are digging into the mysteries of physics, biology and chemistry that explain the principles our modern world is built on. Why is this?
STEM is short for “Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.” There are initiatives underway all over the country aimed at securing America’s leadership in science technology, engineering and mathematics fields and identifying promising strategies for strengthening the educational pipeline that leads to STEM careers.
A solid foundation in math and science teaches students the problem-solving and analytical skills that are so valuable to success in any career.
And these are critical skills that students will use daily in their adult lives, whether they’re assessing the terms of a home loan, making healthcare decisions or negotiating the terms of a car lease. Math teaches students how to solve problems creatively and develop critical-thinking skills. Science is all about studying, finding out, and making sense of the “hows,” “whats” and “whys” of the world we live in.
Jobs requiring STEM skills are expected to grow to 65 percent of the market, while unskilled, low-end wage jobs should shrink to just 15 percent. Estimates indicate that up to 75 percent of the existing workforce will require significant job retraining over the next five years, emphasizing STEM skills. Nationwide, the number of jobs requiring STEM training is growing five times faster than other occupations.
A 2005 U.S. Chamber of Commerce report “Tapping America’s Potential: The Education for Innovation Initiative,” summed up why STEM is so important: “For most of the 20th century, the American education system provided a substantial part of the talent and proficiency needed to sustain and improve our way of life. Today, however, as the U.S. economy becomes even more reliant on workers with greater knowledge and technological expertise, the domestic supply of qualified workers is not keeping up with the skill demands.”
Piedmont Technical College offers training in the skill sets that our region’s expanding advanced manufacturing sector needs, like Mechatronics Technology, Machine Tool and CNC, Metrology and more. Beginning in Fall 2014, the college will be offering full Mechatronics programs in Laurens and Newberry counties. Interested students can begin taking their general education courses this Spring to get started.
For those looking for a career that will benefit others, healthcare may be a great fit. You probably know that PTC offers a well-respected Nursing program, but did you know that you can get training in 15 other health care fields—from Cardiovascular Technology to Human Services and Respiratory Care—right here at PTC?
For more than 40 years, our Engineering Technology programs have produced graduates whose skills and abilities have helped them obtain excellent jobs and pursue advanced degrees. The Engineering Technology Curricula at Piedmont Technical College offer options for students who want to enter the work force after just two years, and for those who wish to pursue a Bachelor's degree in either Engineering Technology Management, or pure Engineering.
Today, computers have become indispensable parts of everyday life. This explosive growth has created a demand for skilled technicians to maintain networks, to support users in everyday computing tasks, to design, maintain and implement new systems and more. After two years in PTC’s Computer Technology program, you could have a degree, a certification, and a good salary at a secure job.
Lots of people had trouble with math in high school, but Piedmont Technical College offers plenty of options to help you get up to speed, including tutoring, and classes focused solely on improving your math skills.
In fact, the College Preparatory division at PTC has introduced a new method of teaching math, called the Emporium method,that is producing a success rate nearly twice that of the national average. And after a pilot launch, the program is being refined to produce higher rates of success.
*Adapted from CareerFocus Magazine