A Framework for the Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core
The Framework for a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core consists of recommendations for incorporating knowledge and skills in Advanced Digital Literacy, Data Knowledge and Analysis, and Business Knowledge and Processes into associate degree technician preparation programs. Topics within these areas have been prioritized by educators and industry as essential to work of the future, across industry sectors. The Framework is suitable for implementation, with regional customization, by any community college technical program. Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work advocates its adoption.
Why It's Important
Technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and robotics are transforming existing industries and creating new ones at an unprecedented pace. Skilled workers of the future will need to function well in the diverse platforms and systems that drive multiple sectors.
The Framework represents a paradigm shift for institutions that provide technician education. Technician educators must be empowered to integrate multiple disciplines into existing programs and develop new programs that support emerging disciplines and occupations.
How It Was Developed
Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work conducted a series of research activities designed to identify the knowledge and skills that will be essential for future STEM technicians. The project team met with technicians, technician supervisors, and middle managers to learn how technology acceleration is impacting their jobs. The project also gathered data from national and regional convenings of academic partners and industry leaders representing a wide range of technical fields. Participants served as thought partners in framing strategies that could transform technician education to ensure ongoing regional competitiveness.
Data Knowledge and Analysis
Manipulating and interpreting data to resolve issues and using Excel and other common software proficiently to
Data backup and restoration
Data life cycle
Advanced Digital Literacy
Understanding digital communications and networking, cybersecurity, machine learning, sensors, programming, and robotics at a higher than introductory level
Artificial intelligence/machine learning
Function block diagram programming
Human-Machine Interface (HMI)
Internet of Things (IoT)
Business Knowledge and Processes
Understanding the value chain and business practices of an enterprise and applying principles of ethical adoption of new technologies
Continuous process improvement
Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE)
Return on Investment (ROI)
Supply and demand
Vertical and horizontal integration