Magazine article Techniques

The Job Revolution: Employment for Today and Tomorrow

Magazine article Techniques

The Job Revolution: Employment for Today and Tomorrow

Article excerpt

In July 2010, more than 14 million Americans were unemployed. Yet about 3 million mainly STEM-related jobs were vacant across the U.S. economy. More firms are beginning to report that even though there are huge numbers of available workers, those workers do not have the skills the firms want. Businesses are struggling to find the talent needed to compete in this new world.

This relatively high level of job vacancies seems to contradict the high level of U.S. joblessness. "If this is the new-normal, it's more about the labor market than the GDP," states Glenn Hubbard, dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Business. "We have to help people face a new world." Patrick Larkin, director of the John Adams Innovation Institute in Massachusetts, terms today's biggest challenge in building a workforce as getting students from K-12 through postsecondary to understand and to prepare for available opportunities.

Current Employment Opportunities

What jobs are currently in demand? The sixth annual McKinsey Global Survey (May 2010) asked executives about important market forces shaping the world economy. McKinsey and Company found that most executives were concerned that they will not be able to find the right kinds of talent to meet their business strategic goals over the next five years. Companies in North America experienced the most difficulty in recruiting individuals to fill jobs in the following categories:

1. Research and Development

2. Information Technology

3. Operations

4. Management

5. Sales

But how does this translate into specific occupations? Manpower's first quarter 2010 Talent Shortage Survey noted that 14 percent of U.S. employers reported difficulty in filling positions. The top 10 jobs for which vacancies were hardest to fill were:

1. Skilled Trades

2. Sales Representatives

3. Nurses

4. Technicians

5. Drivers

6. Restaurant and Hotel Staff

7. Management/Executives

8. Engineers

9. Doctors and Non-nursing Professionals

10. Customer Service Representatives

This Manpower report states that, "The underlying reasons for talent shortages are here to stay." This global talent mismatch will continue to grow until labor markets catch up to the job realities of the new world of technology. The educational preparation and skill set updates that employers are requiring are becoming ever more specific and refined. This is making it even more difficult for organizations to find the perfect candidate and for individuals to find a "good job."

Future Help Wanted

By 2010, at least 63 percent of America's more than 46 million jobs will require some college education. This is the conclusion of economist Anthony P. Carnevale at Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce in "Help Wanted: Projections of Job and Education Requirements Through 2010" (June, 2010). This analysis states that if the current education-to-employment system remains unchanged, in 2018 the United States will fall short by 3 million postsecondary degrees (associate or higher) of the 22 million college degrees needed in the workforce. The American labor market also will need at least 4.7 million new workers with postsecondary career certificates. The occupational areas with the highest percent of jobs requiring some type of postsecondary preparation are projected to be: STEM; education; healthcare professional and technical; community services and arts; and office managerial and professional.

Over the next 10 years, the U.S. and global economies will be more tech driven than ever. A whole new cascade of new tech products and services will be introduced around the world accelerating this occupational trend. There are many game-changing examples. A massive solar farm generating 392 megawatts of power by deploying huge banks of mirrors to focus solar radiation is slated for the Mojave Desert in southern California. …

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