FIGURE S-4 Computer science bachelor’s degree awards and computer programmer real mean salaries, 1992-2008. SOURCE: Kuehn and Salzman (2013).
Finding 2: Quality of STEM Workforce
The STEM issue for DOD is the quality of its workforce, not the quantity available. The DOD needs a suitable share of the most talented STEM professionals. The decisions they make within DOD are highly leveraged, impacting the efforts of very large numbers of people and enterprises both inside and outside the government. (See Finding 6-3.)
Finding 3: Changing Character of STEM Workforce
New technological advancements, often from outside the defense sector and from abroad, are appearing at an increasing rate. Adapting to this new environment requires transformational and long-term changes within the DOD management of its STEM workforce. (See Finding 6-1.)
Finding 4: Forecasting STEM Workforce Needs
Reliable forecasting of the STEM skills needed by the DOD beyond the near term is simply not possible because of the increasing rates of advancement in science and technology and the unpredictability of military needs. Flexibility, capability, and relevance in the DOD STEM workforce are the essential characteristics sought. (See Finding 6-6.)
6 Freeman (1976) established that “the supply of new entrants to engineering is highly responsive to economic conditions.”