In "Its no sin to be rich," (Dec. 27), Richard Riordan and Eli Broad state that jobs that don't require higher education "have left the country" and the "good jobs" that will stay require technological know-how. They conclude that we must work harder at educating our workers in technology.
It is not clear that there is a demand for high-tech workers. In fact, some studies conclude that there are too many qualified candidates. Rutgers University professor Hal Salzman has reported that there are approximately three qualified graduates annually for each science or technology opening, and recent studies have also shown the United States is producing more Ph.D.s in science than the market can absorb.
Additional evidence that we are over-producing high-tech workers comes from studies showing that about 1/3 of college-bound high-school students take calculus, and only about 5% of jobs require this much math.
Three graduates for each opening:
Salzman, H. & Lowell, B. L. 2007. Into the Eye of the Storm: Assessing the Evidence on Science and Engineering Education, Quality, and Workforce Demand. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1034801
Salzman, H. and Lowell, L. 2008. Making the grade. Nature 453 (1): 28-30.
Salzman, H. 2012. No Shortage of Qualified American STEM Grads (5/25/12) http://www.usnews.com/debate-club/should-foreign-stem-graduates-get-green-cards/no-shortage-of-qualified-american-stem-grads.
Teitelbaum, M. 2007. Testimony before the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation. Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC, November 6, 2007
More Ph.D's than the market can absorb: Weissman, Jordan. The Ph.D Bust: America's Awful Market for Young Scientists—in 7 Charts. The Atlantic, Feb 20, 2013. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/02/the-phd-bust-americas-awful-market-for-young-scientists-in-7-charts/273339/
1/3 of college-bound high school students take calculus:
5% of jobs require calculus: Handel, M. 2010. What do people do at work? OECD, forthcoming. Available at www.northeastern.edu/socant/wp-content/.../STAMP_OECD2a_edit2.doc
Original article: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-1227-riordan-broad-wealth-20131227,0,575925.story#axzz2oiSGVJo6