We already knew that the demand for STEM graduates was on the rise to meet the demands of a changing economy, but recently the White House put a big number on how critical the demand really is.
Last week, the Obama Administration designated the effort to increase the number of undergrads with degrees in STEM fields as a Cross-Agency Priority goal. According to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, this means that the effort is, "one of a limited number of such articulated goals designed to focus cross-agency coordination and encourage sharing of best practices among agencies with complementary missions."
Initially, at least, the CAP goal to increase STEM graduates will focus on five "areas of opportunity":
improving STEM teaching and attracting students to STEM courses;
offering meaningful opportunities for students to engage in STEM research early in their college careers;
improving mathematics preparation so that students enter college with adequate math skill to tackle science classes;
support women and minorities in STEM education;
identifying and supporting educational innovation.