The Age of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

18 April 2023.  Maja Bacovic, University of Montenegro.
The Age of STEM

On Tuesday the 18th of April 2023 at 6.00 pm, Maya Bacovic, of the University of Montenegro will give a seminar entitled The Age of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) The seminar will address the key issues of the current debate on the broad impact of STEM disciplines and whether post-industrial societies such as those of wetern Europe, North America, Japan, etc currently produce a sufficient number of graduates in STEM disciplines to sustain the demands and challenges of a gloablised enconomy. M Bacovic ha conducted thorough research on the status of STEM studies across Europe and will anayse and discuss these data in a global context. The poster of the seminar is available here



STEM skills ensure a more innovative and prosperous economy. Empirical evidence from the US economy shows that the STEM workers drive productivity gains, as aggregate productivity in R&D and STEM industry increased far faster than the rest of the economy. Also, that STEM workers earn an average of $14,000 more per year than non-STEM workers at nearly every education level. STEM skills spur innovation through R&D. The rationale for investment in STEM education relates mainly to its association with improved economic outcomes. Ray (2015) shows that the share of STEM graduates has a statistically significant positive effect on the level and growth of real GDP per capita while an increase in the share of STEM graduates increases the number of approved utility patents per one million people. OECD (2020) reports that the earnings advantage for tertiary-educated adults varies by their field of study. The two broad fields of study most commonly associated with the highest earnings are engineering, manufacturing and construction, and information and communication technologies (ICT). While tertiary-educated adults earned 56% more for part-time and full-time work in 2017 than adults with upper secondary education, regardless of their field of study, on average in the 12 OECD countries with available data, the earnings advantage for the best-paid fields is about 80%. Amil, Giannoplidis, and Lipp-Lingua (2007) also found that from 1990 to 2006 there was a much stronger employment growth for knowledge-intensive services within EU-27 than for less-knowledge-intensive services; moreover, knowledge-intensive services had a much higher rate of turnover growth, respectively. Growth in STEM programs graduates is positively associated with investment in research and development.  The share of STEM programs graduates in the total tertiary graduates slightly declined in Europe for the past two decades, although the expenditures for education and the share of tertiary education graduates in the total population increased, respectively. Still, nine European countries are among the top twenty in the world in terms of share of STEM graduates in total tertiary graduates (Germany, Greece, Russia, Estonia, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Croatia, and Serbia). The quality of education, measured with the sample mean PISA scores, was almost equal to its 2000 value, lacking improvements. PISA scores in SCIENCES, declined in Europe (average for 27 European countries – common sample) from 480.5 (2000) to 476.9 (2018), also in Hong Kong (from 540 to 516), but increased in the USA (from 499 to 502). As the quantity of education outcomes increased while the quality didn’t, it seems that growing expenditures in education influenced only the first. From the long-term growth perspective, this is an issue that should attract substantial attention. The share of STEM graduates is positively associated with GDP, GDP per person, employment, labour productivity, and expenditures for R&D. As a growing share of STEM programs graduates has a positive impact on economic growth, its expansion is indispensable to foster economic progress.

Biographical Sketch

Maja Baćović is a full professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of Montenegro - field: Economic theory and analysis (macroeconomics). She was vice-rector of the University of Montenegro (2015–2017) and a member of the Senate of the University of Montenegro (2013–2017). She is the author of four books, co-author of three monographs published in the English language, and more than sixty scientific papers published in international journals that are indexed in WOS and other databases, national journals, and other publications. ( She is the winner of the award of the University of Montenegro for contribution to the quality of scientific research and professional work at the Faculty of Economics for 2021. She was a member of the Centre for Young Scientists at the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts in the period 2010–2016 and a member of the MASA economic research committee since 2010. In addition to scientific and research work, she was the president of the Council of the Statistical System of Montenegro (2006–2011), president of the Board of Directors of the Montenegro Stock Exchange (2006–2008), member of the Board of Directors of "Shipyard Bijela" (2014–2015); member of the Board of Directors of the Clinical Centre of Montenegro (2017-2021) and the Competitiveness Council of the Government of Montenegro (2017-2021). She was a researcher and analyst at the Institute for Strategic Studies and Prognoses in the period 1999-2007. A detailed biography is available at


A striking example of human engineering: Ruyi Bridge, a pedestrian, elevated footbridge in Taizhou crossing the Shenxianju Valley. 

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