The rapid growth of the Latino American community is being heralded by academics and politicians as being crucial to the economic future of the United States. Globalization and free trade have changed the way countries manage their economic growth, and in this regard both developed and developing nations are racing against each other in terms of fostering professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Various Asian nations have managed to take an early lead in the STEM race by fostering the proper academic environment. In countries like China, India and Malaysia, strong government support for STEM education has been a valuable catalyst for success in this area. The economies of those countries have experienced meteoric growth since the late 20th century, and they have hundreds of thousands of Asian STEM graduates to thank for their contributions.
The U.S. has recognized the need for advancement in the STEM fields, and to that end has sought to attract graduates from other countries under the H1-B visa program, taking advantage of the phenomenon known as “brain drain.” This situation occurs when talented and skilled STEM graduates search for better opportunities abroad, thereby minimizing the STEM talent pool in their own countries.
The Brain Drain Reversal
In an effort to keep STEM graduates from leaving their countries for greener pastures, many developing nations are protecting their intellectual capital by offering handsome incentives that effectively reverse the brain drain. Faced with a shortage of STEM professionals, the U.S. is looking at increasing the number of H1-B visas, but even this effort may not be enough to remain globally competitive. As a result, the U.S. is looking at Latino Americans as a great hope for success in the STEM fields.
According to the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California, Latino American students have not been traditionally drawn to the STEM fields. This unfortunate situation emerged from a lack of access to higher education, as well as the traditional role of Latinos as breadwinners in their families. Latin American students are very likely to join the workforce after high school or enroll in technical colleges where they are an ethnic majority.
The STEM Hope
Researchers and legislators believe that the hard-working and family-oriented ethoses of Latin Americans are values that provide them with opportunities to succeed when pursuing studies in STEM education. A graduate degree in a STEM field requires hard work and dedication, two factors that are ingrained in Latino culture. The U.S. is expected to increase funding of scholarships and other initiatives that will hopefully drive more Latin Americans into the STEM fields.
As a result of the belief that Latin Americans will increase their presence in STEM fields in the United States, academic competition is expected to increase accordingly. Most STEM university students will require support and tutoring at some point before graduation, to succeed in these challenging fields. STEM careers are rewarding and generally lucrative, yet only those graduates who have attained an academic edge will be selected to fulfill these opportunities.
Student to student tutoring | Work for students | Getting a tutor