Why Aren't Colleges and Universities Preparing the Workforce of Tomorrow? Too Few Jobs, Yet Too Few Workers: Engineering Colleges Are Overlooking an Opportunity

By Fenster, Saul | University Business, April 2005 | Go to article overview

Why Aren't Colleges and Universities Preparing the Workforce of Tomorrow? Too Few Jobs, Yet Too Few Workers: Engineering Colleges Are Overlooking an Opportunity


Fenster, Saul, University Business


MANUFACTURING WORKFORCE REDUCTIONS AND OUTSOURCING of manufacturing operations overseas have reportedly cost 2.7 million American workers their jobs in the last four years. Yet, many manufacturing jobs lie unfilled for months as companies seek workers with the skills they need for these jobs. So, how can we have too few jobs for our workers and too few workers for our jobs--at the same time?

The answer ies in a lack of the proper skills--the skills that would qualify available workers for available jobs. U.S. firms have proven they can compete with lower wage producers using the productivity gains that advanced information systems and automation technology afford. These measures combined with competency in processing new materials and added value services defy the logic that we should abandon the production sector of our economy. However, the goods producing sector needs to equip itself with new skills, not just new machinery. In part, the fault lies with engineering college and technical schools that are not preparing young men and women for the jobs that will be open to them. In part, it is the fault of the workers--young and old alike--for not ensuring that they have the type of knowledge and hands-on technical skills required in today's high-tech, high-precision, high-quality manufacturing operations.

Engineering colleges continue to prepare graduates for jobs that often do not exist, without a proper appreciation for positions that do exist and indeed what jobs their graduates will take. But, this isn't just about greater concern for the job skills of our graduates. It is also about missed opportunities for additional revenue streams.

Community colleges to internationally recognized universities should be designing curricula that will simultaneously meet the knowledge needs of today's students and the requirements of today's employers. Many educators fail to fully appreciate that 90 percent of their graduates will take jobs in what may be considered manufacturing. And, because they don't realize this, they are not adapting their curricula to provide their students with the knowledge they need to tilt real-world open positions.

What are those missing skills? The Society of Manufacturing Engineers, through its Education Foundation, has identified the following competency gaps in recently hired engineering graduates:

* Project management and team-building

* Clear, persuasive verbal and written communication

* Attentive listening and goal setting

* Supply-chain management and vendor logistics

* Process and discrete manufacturing

* Knowledge of, and appreciation for, foreign cultures, languages, and business practices

Since 1998, SME has awarded more than 30 grants of almost $15. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Why Aren't Colleges and Universities Preparing the Workforce of Tomorrow? Too Few Jobs, Yet Too Few Workers: Engineering Colleges Are Overlooking an Opportunity
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.