Hal Salzman has been studying the dynamics of employment in STEM for a long time. A professor of public policy at Rutgers University–New Brunswick and senior faculty fellow at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Salzman focuses on science and engineering labor markets, workplace restructuring, skill requirements, and globalization of innovation, engineering, and technology design. An expert witness in several Congressional hearings, he has published opinion pieces in Nature, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, and other major publications; his research has been reported in Science, the New York Times, Washington Post, PBS Newshour, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Chicago Tribune among other national media.
Salzman and colleagues recently won a nearly $2.5 million grant for their research project, “Pathways to Science and Engineering Professions: Persistence and Career Choice for Bachelors and Masters Graduates – Research Experiences, Decision Points, and Labor Market Transitions.” This five year initiative is looking at what factors bring students into STEM fields, and what undergraduate experiences are important for those pursuing a STEM career. The project has three major sections: the key decision points and high-impact events that influence students, the impact of undergraduate research on college completion and continuation into STEM careers, and how the structure of work in STEM firms influences career choices and persistence. This research is looking at what attracts students to STEM majors, what keeps them there, and why they leave.
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