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Are Hispanics the next great STEM innovators?

- via Forbes

Unemployment in the U.S. is at its highest since the mid-80s, college graduates are struggling to find jobs in their respective fields, and the so-called ‘American Dream’ is slipping farther out of reach. Yet, there are 3.2 million available jobs in this country in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. Right now. Today. This moment.

With these facts as a backdrop, you would think that every kid in America would be scrambling to take a STEM major. Wrong. One study showed that nearly half of high school students surveyed say they will most likely not pursue a STEM-related degree. Whom then can we get to qualify for these high-paying, readily available, yet evidently not very popular jobs?

Answer: Hispanics. Over the last several decades, it has primarily been Hispanic immigrants, legal and illegal, who’ve done America’s dirty work. Janitors, construction labor, factory workers, meatpacking, housecleaning, cooks, chefs, you name it, Hispanics have done these jobs with drive and aplomb, and nary a complaint. No matter where you stand on illegal immigration, there’s no denying that Hispanic immigrants have taken jobs most Americans eschewed.


About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

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