There’s an effort to recruit young women into the field of engineering.  It’s called STEM, the importance of women pursuing education and careers in science, technology, engineering and math. It’s an initiative originally articulated by the president during his inauguration speech. Two years later, universities and colleges in Illinois are reaching out to young women in middle and high schools in an attempt to get them interested in pursuing degrees in those four areas.


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“This is a prime area,” said Susan Brauer, dean of academic affairs at DeVry University. “It wasn’t that long ago there were lots of jobs, maybe 12 years ago, lots of manufacturing. That talent still exists in the Midwest and yes, that’s what we’re looking forward to developing.”  According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, there were 7.6 million STEM workers in the United States in 2010, representing about 1 in 18 workers. It’s projected that STEM jobs will grow by 17 percent from 2008 to 2018. Job growth in non-STEM jobs over the same time period is projected at just 9.8 percent.  Additionally, women represent only 7 percent of mechanical engineers, 10 percent of civil engineers, 13 percent of chemical engineers, 32 percent of computer software engineers and 22 percent of computer programmers.


(Illinois Radio Network)