Americans: Math Is a Must-Have and Science Is 'Cool' Again
- By Dian Schaffhauser
In the future all the best jobs are going to require people to know a coding language. At least that's what seven in 10 Americans (73 percent) in a recent poll said they believe. Nearly nine in 10 (86 percent) said knowing how to use a computer is "just as important as knowing how to read and write." Three quarters said they consider science "cool in a way that it wasn't 10 years ago."
Those opinions surfaced in a survey of 559 people aged 18 and older as part of a "finger on the pulse" research project run by Horizon Media's WHY Group.
According to the study's authors, Americans "overwhelmingly" prioritize science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) over the arts, health and history. Respondents said that alongside reading and writing the two subjects that are most critical to make sure the next generation is ready for its future is math (chosen by 70 percent) and computer science (selected by 50 percent). Two thirds (65 percent) agreed that "most students would benefit more from learning a computer coding language than a foreign language."
"Science and math have always been core subjects. But the addition of technology and engineering makes STEM education feel current and critical," said Horizon Vice President Kirk Olson in a prepared statement. "It's through technology and engineering that scientific fields affect widespread changes in the ways people live. These findings prove Americans feel that impact in the real world." In fact, he added, being a part of science now "is like being a rock star."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.