Why Are Fewer People Studying Science and Engineering?


Good morning John. Guess what’s behind this
thing? New York City! And guess what’s behind this thing? It’s me.
I’m at home again. I was in New York because SciShow just got
a big new sponsor, and we we doing press tours, talking to people, anyone who would listen
to us about science education and stuff. You may have noticed that we’ve never, ever
done a branded video here on Vlogbrothers- this is not one of those. They don’t know
that I’m making this video. Emerson, for the most part, makes stuff that
you would never buy, unless you, like, own a power plant, or a Fortune 500 company, or
something. And so the advertisements we’re doing together
aren’t about getting people to buy their products, because that’s not the problem they have. The problem they have is that they solve big
engineering problems and big science problems and to do that they need scientists and engineers. And with not as many people graduating with
so-called ‘STEM degrees,’ and more people going to work for big new companies that you’ve
heard of like Google and and SpaceX and Tesla, they’re a little worried. And I share their worry, though for separate
reasons. I don’t hire engineer people- for the most part, I hire humanities people. Like
writers, and video editors, and artists, and stuff. I’m concerned because scientists and engineers
solve a lot of the big problems that we need to solve, like how do we get clean water to
more people? And how do we continue to power this amazing lifestyle that I get to lead
without destroying the world? So yeah, when this came to SciShow, I was
like, “Oh, this makes sense, actually. We will do that.” That STEM toolkit is a very valuable one,
and one that is being developed less often by people. And what I kept being asked by
people on TV and radio was “Why? Why are fewer people doing this?” And I’m not an expert on that; I went through
school one time. That’s pretty much all my data. But as with most things, my guess is
it’s a lot of different reasons. And one reason is that I think it’s really
hard, and we just kind of sugarcoat it sometimes, but it is hard, and that’s huge amount of
information to stick into your brain. But I think, more than that, we’re also told
that there’s a certain type of person who becomes a scientist or an engineer, and they’re
just good at it. They’re just good at math, and they’re good at science, and just engineering
geniuses! And that’s a really dangerous myth, because
everyone I know who went through a science or engineering degree, it was really hard
for them. It was really hard for me. Nobody is born being good at math. I think
some people are born really liking that challenge. That’s the thing that all of the scientists
I know have in common. Like, there’s no other common trait amongst
them. They’re mothers and rock climbers and punk rockers. Some are into politics, or sports,
or spend their evenings on Tumblr. The only thing they have in common is that
passion for solving hard problems. And there are certainly non-science problems that need
to be solved as well. That’s why I hire lots of artists and animators and video editors
and stuff. I think often when we tell people to get into
STEM careers, it’s not because it’s interesting or fascinating or cool, it’s because that’s
the best way to get a good job, so do that. If you don’t do this terribly difficult thing,
then you will never get a good job. And I think that’s a terrible thing to do to a child,
who is like fifteen years old. They’re in high school, and you’re telling them, “Okay,
just start panicking now. A decade before you will be done learning all of these things.” That’s-that’s terrifying! We can’t we, instead,
treat this like every other big problem and take it one step at a time, being driven by
not the end goal, but by, you know, interests, and fascinations along the way. And I wanna say the most interesting toolkit
you can have is one that includes both and technology, engineering and liberal arts.
That’s the education I had, and I’m so grateful for it. Anyway, this really is a career path that’s
open to everyone. So that’s why I was in New York; I was doing things with them. And seeing
lots of my friends and hanging out with cool people, that was fun too. The advertisement we made together, just encouraging
people to be interested and fascinated by science, is running now. There’s also a link
below — you can see it on YouTube. And if you’re thinking to yourself, “Hank,
you were in New York City and you did not tell me and I did not get to see you that
is so uncool,” I was very busy. But also, I will be back! In April! With Harry
and the Potters, Driftless Pony Club, Andrew Huang, Rob Scallon, playing music all, from
like Chicago, all the way to New York, there’s like eight stops. You can check out more information
in the link in the description. Tour Because Awesome: East Coast! John, I’ll see you on Tuesday.

31 Comments

  1. Jake Guillotine Myers

    February 9, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Schools don’t encourage creativity and curiosity that a scientist needs

  2. LET’S YEET THIS MEAT

    February 13, 2019 at 3:56 am

    I using the excuse that it’s hard is just full BS tbh if your talking about STEM

    The only reason why, is that the employment rate or the job itself in the future and how it makes money that’s it

    Let’s go practical here

  3. kinnature

    February 23, 2019 at 11:18 am

    It’s not for everyone

  4. Uzair Ali

    March 17, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    damm so this guy talks this fast in real life aswell XD

  5. Simon Says

    March 20, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Scientists and engineers will become more valuable 🙂

  6. mike pardeep

    April 2, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    can we have a WhatsApp group that comprises of people who love science and engineering and we can share the idea of each one us?

  7. Erin Trick

    April 2, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    I'm more curious as to why less STEM majors aren't getting employed…

  8. mel saint

    April 12, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    Well because it's difficult.

  9. Jim Wallace

    April 18, 2019 at 2:25 am

    Because they can't do single digit math without a calculator and numbers terrify them.

  10. Kit

    April 21, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    Heyyyyyyy I remember him!!!! He does those chemistry crash course videos

  11. StudentLearning737

    April 28, 2019 at 6:46 am

    Computer science in regards to programming is easy, ditch digging and boring in my current view. Why? 1. Your entire purpose is to service or build a program. 2. Meeting the needs of the system accounts for 80% of your workload. 3. Your essentially learnimg repeatable skills that for the most part wont serve you any use outside of a computer. Take what i say with a grain of salt.

  12. StudentLearning737

    April 28, 2019 at 6:48 am

    Science is exploration of nature, full of effort to underdtand, and a skill that isnt used to its fullest

  13. jimmy knox

    May 2, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    "It's just soo hard!"

  14. Sarim Khan

    May 4, 2019 at 3:33 am

    I don'jjt know how common this is, but I think it's also because science is undervalued (at least where I live). I don't know why, but when people find out I like chemistry, you can almost see them cringe (this includes most people in my family). There was this one guy, practically a stranger that my cousin befriended out of nowhere and I had to just…. sit with them wasting time, and when he found out I was into science, he just shook his head and was like "business…." (I'm guessing he was gonna say everything). And on the inside, my reaction was "oh for…. just shut up you brainless waste of oxygen". If I wasn't so nice (and introverted), they'd have gone home crying that day.
    That, and the fact that engineering doesn't guarantee you a good career where I live, if you're an engineering student, it's a given that you'll move to some other foreign country for a job, and that can be quite a puch factor, I guess.

  15. Gabriel Torres

    May 13, 2019 at 12:46 am

    As an electrical engineering major myself…. it’s hard!

  16. Thomas Herzog

    May 25, 2019 at 11:54 am

    I see a map of Narnia on the wall. 🙂 That alone got this video a like. Narnia Chronicles were my childhood favs. Pertaining to the subject matter of the video, people hate math and science because they are taught by people who are good at their subject, but not necessarily good at teaching. They don't know how to break down the problem for the learner. I hated math because it looks like a bunch of pointless puzzles with no applications to life offered

  17. ss4vegeta1

    May 26, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    The real reason people are not doing this is cause it is freaking hard, it can be dangerous or boring and the fucking wages aren't getting any better for a BS degree. All the Science jobs are turning into outsourced international cheap contract work.

  18. Bob Chen

    June 1, 2019 at 7:15 am

    reason : 1. lack of jobs, If you major in hard sciences and certain engineering (physics, chemistry… , mechanical, aerospace, chemical engineering ) it is actually very hard to find a job.
    2. work culture in engineering firms are terrible. The work is actually boring.
    3. the subjects are hard. If u are smart enough to study physics, why not just study coding and become a programmer.
    4. A Lot of trades pay close to and sometimes even more engineer. Electrician gets paid almost the same as an electrical engineer. But electrician gets paid to do apprenticeship, an electrical engineer get into debt to get a degree. a lot of people in construction trades make more money than civil engineers.
    5. school made engineering unnecessarily more difficult than it really need to be. Taught too much theory and NOT nearly enough hands on skills. Most engineer learn everything on their jobs. very few actually used what they learned in school. In fact if you are smart, you can learn everything as an engineer on your job without ever attending college.

  19. BonzoDog67 Lizardking

    June 4, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    This is not complicated.

    People who have a natural gift for Science or STEM are very rare. There are some, it's true, who can learn such material — but without passion — and will not excel in the same way or to the same degree. After Sputnik America cranked-out Astrophysicists by the gross, NASA skimmed-off the top 10 percent, and sent the rest to Madison Ave. to write weapons-grade statistical algorithms, or to flip burgers.

    Today, the scenario would unfold thus: A highly unsatisfying job that, once the credentials are acquired, would be quickly undercut by foreign labor on a work visa.

    What is really desired are STEM types with a genuine creative twist to their mental makeup. Someone who has that innate mental GIFT! And we get those types as Nature bestows them.

    It's the difference between someone who is functionally bilingual, and someone who is fluent in 9 languages.

    God only makes a Mozart or a Beethoven now and then…most of the time we must get by on an army a Salieris…and business wants them Cheap. Cheap. Cheap.

  20. Samragni The Nerdfighter!

    June 9, 2019 at 8:56 am

    Everyone in my country studies science lol 😂

  21. Gale Prinster

    July 2, 2019 at 3:07 am

    Hi Hank, I’m revisiting this video three years later, and I’ve pivoted from thinking that I hated math, but I took calc I and calc II my junior and senior years of high school, and now I’m going to college for mech e this next semester in the fall. I think I’m a person who doesn’t shy away from a challenge, and I hope that I can get through it. I love calc and solving problems, and I’m really excited to see where it takes me

  22. Chemical Glue

    July 3, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    I agree with you.
    Just about every guy wants to be a football player.
    Just about every girl wants to be a supermodel.
    But we need more scientists and engineers than sports players and models.

  23. Tom Yazel

    July 16, 2019 at 10:50 am

    why?  because its too hard…I don't like it.

  24. Mad Moviez

    July 16, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    If you are feeling like there are less students in science and engineering I welcome you to INDIA there is an engineer in almost every well educated house and for a fact there are engineers who are selling vegetables in markets and selling ice cream because of no job. So if you have that feeling come here in India and adopt few engineers on a monthly basis and take them to America and give them jobs they deserve.

    Also by seeing this harsh reality there are more than 200k engineering aspirants every year giving a national level exam of JEE for getting admissions in IIT(Indian Institute of Technology)
    And there are less than 10k seats available among all IITs in India. And doing engineering in private University is just too costly to anyone to afford. Those who don't have money nd marks they seek different less reputed colleges and spoil their life.
    If you want to see competition come here in India. If you have the courage come in India and try JEE mains and JEE advance (two step exam)
    There are kids dropping 3 years straight to get into IITs or even NITs(National Institute of Technology).
    😏

  25. Mehbuba Mazumdar

    July 22, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    This topic doesn't remotely apply to India.

  26. Shinja Okinawa

    July 27, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    If the student hasn't learned The Teacher hasn't taught.

  27. rags015

    August 21, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    Math and science are too damn hard! That is why I chose literature, an easy subject.

  28. All Stars

    August 26, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Come to india half of india is studying engineering

  29. Ross Smith

    September 2, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    Subscribed 😀

  30. Smitty Flufferson

    September 3, 2019 at 8:00 am

    This is really strange to say because it seems like everybody and their dog is getting an engineering degree whether or not they have the slightest bit of passion about it

  31. Abdullah Al-Shimri

    September 15, 2019 at 1:45 am

    Lack of technical jobs and outsourcing was the reason for me. I went to medical school instead and love it.

Leave a Reply