GA Trade Sep-Oct Interactive - page 32

F
irst off, it is needless to say that
working in the people business,
especially at theworld’s largest
provider of workforce solutions, it
taughtme early on that no employee,
colleague, associate, or “temp”will
ever actually become a commodity.
Peoplewill alwaysmake the difference
in anywork environment, whether it
is the lawyer dealingwith a litigation
case, the productionworker adjusting
a tool, the cashier helping clients in a
grocery store, or the engineer signing
off on a newly commissioned oilrig in
theNorth-Atlantic sea. People and
their unique talents and ambitionswill
always be the deciding factor between
the stellar success ormiserable failure
of any business. Youmight have heard
this quote before: “If you think it’s
expensive to hire a professional, wait
until youhire an amateur.”
I look at RedAdair’s famous statement
as a piece of absolute truthmuch
more than just a fun business quote
that I like using in client conversations
for obvious reasons. However, there
are skill sets that will play an even
more important role than others going
forward, at least relatively speaking.
Within the last few years, thework-
force has seen a steady influx in
demand for qualified professionals in
STEMfields (science, technology,
engineering, andmathematics). These
skill sets are crucial to driving
innovation, yet businesses are finding
it increasingly difficult to recruit
qualified STEM employees into their
workforce.
A few facts about the STEM
skills gap:
n
There are currently 1.4 vacant STEM
jobs for every one qualified STEM
job-seeker (compared to 3.6 vacant
positions per one job-seeker in the
general jobmarket)
n
Between 2000 and 2012, STEM
workers’ medianwage has increased
3.5 percent (compared to the 5.5
percent decrease for all other
occupations)
n
Between 2008 and 2018, expected
job growthwithinSTEM is estimated
at 17 percent. This couldmean 2.4
millionunfilled job vacancies in the
most influential occupations
n
75 percent of the fastest growing
occupations require significant
science and/ormathematics
preparation
The Sourceof the STEMGap
The reasons for this shortage liewithin
education, wages, and the profession-
als themselves. From the educational
side, about 28 percent of college
studentsmajor inSTEM relatedfields,
however almost half of them change
their course of study prior to gradua-
tion. That leaves just 13 percent of
college grads earning degrees in these
areas and then only 10 percent
actually pursuing STEM careers.Why?
One reason is because graduateswith
these highly-valued skills are sought
after across all fields –not just in
STEM, andmay be offered higher
wages in other areas of work.
M E M B E R P R O F I L E
Don’tWant toBecome
aCommodity? TrySTEM
By: DanielMasata, Adecco
32
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