The United States government faces a serious shortage of skilled cybersecurity specialists, according to a new report, which estimates the country may need an 8-fold increase in the number nationally sponsored graduates with security degrees.
I suspect this type of issue is the primary reason for the sudden focus on math and science in the public school system. Businesses have no problems with simply importing skilled labor if there is none to be found domestically. But from a government perspective, this would create security and espionage issues.
If one goes into the field of hard sciences, there is a high likelihood that one’s labor will be used – directly or indirectly – in supporting the military apparatus. And if not that, then in fields dominated by monopoly profit – such as the pharmaceutical industry.
The association of science and math in the United States with militarization, and private profit, is one that is deeply demoralizing, and behind the generational decline in interest for these fields in the domestically educated population. The public push towards ‘green research’ (even as private companies such as BP abandon it) can be seen as an attempt to introduce an aspect of utopianism, or idealism, back into these fields.
Related: Why Young Americans Have Been Avoiding Math and Science