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Tech education: NH moves forward
The social-networking website Facebook went public on Friday, selling 100 million shares of stock almost instantly and making it at once the most valuable American company and the most highly valued American company ever at its Initial Public Offering. Still thinking about sending your kid to college to earn that poetry degree?
Three days before Facebook's big IPO, New Hampshire's public colleges and universities signed a commitment to double the number of technology, science, engineering and mathematics graduates by 2025. Last year the University System of New Hampshire and the state's community colleges awarded 1,100 degrees (out of 8,200) in those subjects, the Associated Press reported. That number is to rise by 50 percent by 2020 and 100 percent by 2025, under the new plan.
“A high percentage of the current skilled workforce is the result of migration into the state, and that pattern has reversed,” USNH Chancellor Ed McKay told the AP. “New Hampshire's historical reliance on in-migration is not sustainable. We must prepare our own science and technology workforce.”
Whatever the migration pattern, New Hampshire does its children a disservice if it does not have strong math, science, engineering and technology programs to offer — and if it does not encourage students to pursue, or at least strongly consider, careers in those fields.
Last week the State of New Hampshire also approved turning the Manchester School of Technology into a full four-year high school focused on preparing students for technical and mechanical careers.
These developments are good news. They show that state educational leaders are thinking a lot about what students will actually need to know to prosper in the real world in the near future. Parents, how much are you thinking about the same thing?
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