As a Fortune 500 global IT consulting and services company with a diverse workforce of more than 218,000 people, Cognizant has a vested interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education around the world.  We believe that investing in the power of learning these technical disciplines is not only a business imperative, but the right thing to do as a corporate citizen. And, we view access to education resources as one of the fundamental sustainability issues of our time. Finding and implementing creative solutions to poverty, global health issues and climate change will require a highly educated and STEM-literate population. In the US today, it’s been widely documented that there is a relative decline in STEM proficiency, fewer young people interested in STEM fields and—perhaps most alarming—a decline in measured creativity. The future competitiveness and innovative capacity of the US, the quality of our workforce, and the prosperity of future generations are at risk.

The pace of change is quickening every day as new technologies transform how people live, work and play. So, the question remains: How can we invest in educational programs that inspire curiosity about STEM subjects and transform individuals into life-long learners ready to embrace and endure a tsunami of technological advances?

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Kathryn Nash is Associate Director of Educational Affairs at Cognizant. She oversees Cognizant’s corporate social responsibility programs in North America and leads the company’s “Making the Future” education initiative.