Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs are growing nearly twice as fast as non-STEM jobs, yet nearly 1.2 million high-skilled positions will be unfilled by 2018 due to a shortage of qualified workers. To address the skills gap head-on, the White House announced today its Computer Science for All initiative, which will prioritize STEM education—and computer science in particular—in an effort to encourage and inspire students to pursue studies in high growth fields.
As a company that employs thousands of engineers and computer scientists who develop the software that powers our mobile devices, we’re thrilled to support this important White House initiative to increase the pipeline of future STEM workers. Through Virginia Tech, a leading STEM institution with significant presence in the National Capital Region (NCR), and our CEO Steve Mollenkopf’s alma mater, we will bring Qualcomm’s Thinkabit Lab to the Virginia Tech Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church, Virginia, to serve D.C. area students and teachers.
At Qualcomm, we know that in order to build the pipeline of qualified STEM workers, we have to first ask: how can we inspire students to pursue a career they don't know exists? That’s where we see the value of our Thinkabit Lab, which brings middle school students into a dedicated space—part lab, makerspace and classroom—to encourage creativity, collaboration and the development of critical skills necessary for the 21st century. For many students, this may be their first introduction to STEM and the real-world STEM careers they can pursue.
We’re excited to build on the success and momentum of the recent Thinkabit Lab expansion in San Diego and bring the experience to the Washington D.C. region. Through our collaboration with Virginia Tech, we will work with the Virginia Tech College of Engineering’s Department of Engineering Education and the College of Liberal Arts and Human Science’s School of Education to offer hands-on learning in the Thinkabit Lab. In addition to the lab experience, Virginia Tech students and faculty will conduct research to create a set of academic program experiences in computer science and engineering for teachers and school administrators to help ensure that teachers can incorporate these subjects into the existing K-12 science and mathematics curricula.
At Qualcomm, we are committed to inspiring today’s youth to explore and pursue STEM education. The Thinkabit Lab expansion is one example of our ongoing commitment to the next generation of computer scientists and engineers that will help cement America’s role as a leader in innovation. We look forward to working with the White House to create a brighter future for our students, grow America’s high-tech workforce and inspire the inventors of tomorrow.
To learn more about Qualcomm’s investment in STEM, click here or enter: www.qualcomm.com/company/sustainability/community/stem-education.