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Tech Industry

Low math skills cause engineering drain

At least 20 million technical jobs will be added to the U.S. work force by 2008, but engineering students continue to drop out of American colleges or switch to non-engineering majors. That's because 40 percent of U.S. high school students lack the fundamental mathematics skills required to complete college engineering degrees, according to a study released Tuesday by Boston-based MathSoft Education and the American Society for Engineering Education.The survey, which relied on information from 4,700 engineering professors, concluded that the United States will continue to import engineering graduates from abroad until it reforms high school math education. "Today, the U.S. economy is largely technology based, and until we learn to attract students and keep our young people engaged in engineering, we will continue to import engineers," said Frank L. Huband, executive director of ASEE.

    At least 20 million technical jobs will be added to the U.S. work force by 2008, but engineering students continue to drop out of American colleges or switch to non-engineering majors. That's because 40 percent of U.S. high school students lack the fundamental mathematics skills required to complete college engineering degrees, according to a study released Tuesday by Boston-based MathSoft Education and the American Society for Engineering Education.

    The survey, which relied on information from 4,700 engineering professors, concluded that the United States will continue to import engineering graduates from abroad until it reforms high school math education. "Today, the U.S. economy is largely technology based, and until we learn to attract students and keep our young people engaged in engineering, we will continue to import engineers," said Frank L. Huband, executive director of ASEE.