Only three civilian occupational series in the Air Force require a STEM degree: Engineering (0800), Physical Sciences (1300), and Mathematics (1500). However, as with STEM-degreed officers, STEM-degreed civilians work in many occupations that do not formally require a STEM degree. Figure 2-3 shows the percentage of civilians with technical degrees in a range of occupational series. Note that the caveat about the difference between “technical degree” and the committee’s definition of a STEM degree applies here as well. Acquisition managers are included in the Business and Industry occupational series.
Since 2003, the Air Force has had three formally established core competencies: Developing Airmen, Technology-to-Warfighting, and Integrating Operations. These three core competencies are described as “making possible” the Air Force’s six “distinctive capabilities”: Air and Space Superiority, Global Attack, Rapid Global Mobility, Precision Engagement, Information Superiority, and Agile Combat Support. (Jumper, 2003; Krisinger, 2003; USAF, 2009).9 In his commentary on Air and Space Core Competencies for the Chief’s Sight Picture of 15 January