We Need More Engineers

We Need More Engineers

CEO of Intel Brian Krzanich took to the Internet last week to encourage engineering students to stick with their programs and to shed some light on the fact that America and American companies are desperate for engineers. Not just in the tech sector but in other sectors as well. On my recent trip back from visiting ISG in Saudi Arabia, I sat next to an Agricultural Engineer on his way back to Seattle. He had been out for 3 weeks traveling Europe, India, and 3 countries in Africa. As he talked about his traveling adventures I couldn’t believe how much he was traveling…so I had to ask him why the company didn’t hire others. His answer: “There aren’t any Agricultural Engineers to be had.” That’s worrisome really…..we all need food and as our population grows we’re only going to need more. Here is someone who has dedicated his life to helping the global community produce more food for our growing population and the company can’t find anyone trained to help him out or replace him when the time comes…he’s hoping to retire in 5 years. Forbes predicts that there were 1.7 million Cloud-Based Technology jobs that went unfilled globally in 2012 and the outlook and predictions moving forward aren’t any better. So this isn’t just an American problem….it’s a global one. At a K-12 level what are we doing to prepare students for these jobs? We can’t force students to be engineers but are we giving them the experiences they need in K-12 to even be in a place to think about engineering as a career? Kalyani Mallela, 29, said engineering is a foundation applicable to all industries and fields, enabling people to do anything from build chips and wearable tech devices to fix flood problems and innovate medicine. “It’s the ‘why’ and the ‘curiosity’ that make me a good engineer,” she said. (Fox Business) Are we teaching the ‘why’ and tapping into and fostering the intrinsic ‘curiosity’ in students? Programs such as DiscoverE’s Future City competition, which asks U.S. middle-school students to imagine, design and build cities of the future, have become crucial to these efforts. “There’s a whole bunch of kids that have creative ideas but might struggle initially with math and get left behind,” Shaddock said. “We need to do more of stimulating kids’ interests in how things work, how to solve problems in the world around them and build on that stimulus and curiosity.” I think of...

Read More

Millennials and the Job Market

Millennials and the Job Market

There is a great article over at Mashable titled: Why Can’t Millennials Find Jobs? That as I read it I kept shaking my head and thinking about schools, education and where this is all going. What I want to do is add my own thoughts to the research the article points to. 66% not ready for workplace This is what companies are thinking? That our universities are producing graduates that are not prepared for the modern workplace? Why doesn’t this come as a surprise to me? It should…I should be, I don’t know, upset maybe? Kids going to school going 10s of thousands of dollars in debt for companies to say they are not prepared. You see the work force has changed. Of course many say it is this generation. That they feel entitled to having a job….yet A Pew Research Study shows Millennials are not entitled; rather, having a high-paying job is low on their list of priorities, underneath both helping others and being a good parent. But the one to me that I think is the easiest fix that K-12 can help with is this: 84% have not created a professional website or other positive online content which would improve online search results for their name. If you’re unaware how potential employers will perceive you online, try out Abine’s Hireability Calculator. Why is this? Why are students finished with 16+ years of education and this has slipped through the cracks? Simple….we never had to worry about it before. Before the Internet you were hired based on the resume you created and the interview you gave. There was no Google, Facebook, Twitter. You weren’t expected to have a professional website. Times have changed and are we preparing students to go out into the work force whether it be after high school or after college and compete in a competitive market? This screams to me once again why Facebook should be open in schools, why a graduation requirement for every senior should be to have a digital portfolio that is public on the web and controlled by them. We have been creating portfolios for years in education. Flipping the switch, moving it online and making it public is not that difficult. It means looking at things differently. It means understanding that the paper resume I practiced writing in business class all those years ago should be replaced (please tell me it...

Read More