Millennials grew up in a unique era of transition as the Internet began to flourish and social networking took root. The first generation with nearly unlimited resources for knowledge, millennials learn, think, and feel differently about education. Millennials are visual learners who do not learn the same way baby boomers did. Digital content is king. This shift gives educators the opportunity to innovate with new technologies to increase student engagement and encourage a more participatory culture. This holds especially true for STEM education.
Creating the next generation of engineers and scientists is critical to any country’s economy, which demands more skilled workers and a wider range of available talent. It is estimated that over the next decade nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled as per the Skills Gap report by Deloitte in association with the Manufacturing Institute. The skills gap is expected to result in 2 million of those jobs going unfilled. As the foundation of economic success, manufacturing must work to close this gap.
Millennials may have grown up with computers, smartphones, and the Internet, but all that time spent looking at screens does not necessarily mean the generation has full technological competence—they are not as tech-savvy as they think they are. They do not have the necessary skills to fill the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) positions of today and tomorrow.
As per a study conducted by Change the Equation, 58 percent of millennials have low skills in solving problems with technology, although they spend an average of 35 hours per week on digital media. The report further says that this may have already affected the job prospects of millennials.