How BP is bridging the STEM skills gap
Bridging the STEM skills gap
Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are important to the American economy, playing a significant role in maintaining the nation’s competitive edge in today’s high-tech world. Research shows that while 70 percent of young people like science and math, only 17 percent think that STEM careers are “for them.” As a result, the U.S. is facing a chronic shortage of graduates with the right STEM skills.
That’s why BP is working with community and educational partners to find ways to help close the skills gap and encourage students to pursue STEM. BP has learned that, in order to keep young people interested in STEM, it is important for them to see its relevance beyond the classroom. Schools, parents and businesses must work together to inspire the next generation of innovators and creators. To partner with BP in developing tomorrow’s STEM leaders, visit BP’s resources page for tools and activities that can be used to share STEM content with students of any age.
Inspiring future innovators for more than 60 years
From 2012-2016, BP spent nearly $70 million to support STEM education across the U.S. The company’s efforts are focused on teacher training and development, sponsoring student programs that inspire STEM learning, and encouraging employees to volunteer as mentors in their communities. To help young people develop strong foundations in STEM, BP is working to improve student aptitude, especially among girls and underrepresented minorities. One example is BP’s partnership with Million Women Mentors, a national campaign that empowers employees to volunteer as mentors and instill confidence in girls to help them succeed in STEM.
Supporting STEM in higher education
In addition to helping college students develop critical career skills, BP invests in partnerships with leading educational and scientific institutions such as MIT, Princeton and Texas A&M to find long-term energy solutions. BP offers college students the opportunity to learn about the energy industry and work with emerging technologies through various initiatives including the Ultimate Field Trip and Discovery Days. The hands-on programs are designed to help students build real-world skills before graduation. BP’s multi-year research programs and university partnerships are intended to make advances in areas ranging from computing and bioscience to unconventional gas, heavy oil and rock physics. In 2013, BP committed $4 million to a strategic partnership with The University of Texas at Austin to support several cutting-edge oil and gas industry research projects. An initial area of focus for the collaboration is related to Project 20K™, a multi-year initiative seeking to develop next-generation systems and tools to help unlock the next frontier of deepwater resources.
BP named No. 1 in STEM hiring and diversity
When it comes to encouraging the next generation of STEM leaders, it is critical to continue that support even after they finish school and enter the workforce. BP earned top marks for its efforts to promote careers in STEM, placing No. 1 on the list of STEM Jobs Approved Employers for 2015 and 2016. Published by Victory Media, the list is the first of its kind to rate companies on their responsiveness to creating and filling high-demand, high-growth STEM occupations.