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Hungry Chinese, Indian students grabbing future jobs, says Obama

world Updated: Jun 15, 2011 00:54 IST

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Sounding an alarm bell over the challenge from "hungry" Indian and Chinese students, US President Barack Obama has asked Americans to focus more on science, mathematics and technology to ensure that "jobs of future" stay within the shores.

Acknowledging that US firms are having a tough time finding the right candidates for jobs in science and technology, Obama, travelling to Durham in North Carolina, said it is not a good sign for the future of the country.

"So these are the jobs of the future. These are the jobs that China and India are cranking out. Those students are hungry because they understand if they get those skills they can find a good job, they can create companies, they can create businesses, create wealth. And we're falling behind in the very fields we know are going to be our future," he said.

"We can do better. We must do better than that. If we're going to make sure the good jobs of tomorrow stay here in US, stay here in North Carolina, we've got to make sure all our companies have a steady stream of skilled workers to draw from."

Obama said at present there are more than four job-seekers for every job opening in America.

"But when it comes to science and high-tech fields, the opposite is true. The businesses represented here tell me they're having a hard time finding high-skilled workers to fill their job openings," he added.

Obama said only four per cent of all undergraduate students enrol in the STEM subjects - science, technology, engineering, and maths.