But Cleveland also acknowledged that one of the main reasons American engineering and science graduates don't pursue higher education is the range of lucrative careers available to them outside of working in the technological industry. Wall Street has long prized engineering and math graduates, while highly qualified American computer scientists often choose the entrepreneurial or management route rather than working in a technical capacity for a larger corporation.
The continued recession may be changing that dynamic, according to Cleveland. He said the growing distaste for Wall Street has made the manufacturing and development of hardware a more attractive field for America's best and brightest.
"We produce something real, and we manufacture it in this country. It's an essential part of many products," Cleveland said. "We're not producing a derivative instrument."