According to the 2018 Skills Gap Study issued by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, it’s time to start worrying about the predicted shortage of engineering talent. In the next decade, 2.4 million manufacturing positions in the U.S. will go unfilled. The continued shortage will lead to a potential loss of $454 billion in economic output.
In March 2019, the U.S. House Science Committee held a hearing to discuss science and technology. They stressed the importance of better developing domestic talent and continuing to welcome students and researchers from abroad to ensure the future STEM workforce. They also discussed the importance of drawing more women and minorities into STEM fields.
In the meantime, companies are investing in learning and development programs as well as building knowledge transfer programs to help circumvent the skills gap.
Paul Wellner, vice chairman at Deloitte LLP, recommends companies take the following actions to develop talent and human capital programs for the future:
- Increase in-house training and learning courses.
- Provide on-the job training.
- Increase investment in training programs and the integration of digital technologies to help employees move ahead on the digital curve.
- Explore ways to provide exposure to robotics, automation, and computer programming— not just to high school students but also to primary school students— in order to build the foundational skills and abilities needed to succeed in STEM programs in the secondary grades.
Starting Them Young
Although 80% of future professions will require STEM expertise by 2020, millions of students in under-resourced communities lack the opportunities necessary to prepare for careers in these fields. One way to connect younger students with STEM role models is through TryEngineering Together.
TryEngineering Together was recently named a 2019 CODiE award finalist for Best Instructional Solution. Hosted by SIIA (Software and Information Industry Association) to recognize excellence and innovation in technology as well as leaders in the electronic and education industries, this year’s CODiE awards will be announced on 11 June.
Co-created by IEEE and Cricket Media, this unique eMentor program gives economically disadvantaged elementary schools an innovative, virtual way to connect STEM professionals with 3rd to 5th grade students. Together with their mentors, students build literacy skills, practice critical thinking and collaborating, and prepare for more advanced STEM studies.
“Providing STEM role models to students in under-resourced school districts can help these kids imagine a future they might not have considered before,” says Jamie Moesch, Managing Director of IEEE Educational Activities.
Join Us in Combating the STEM Talent Shortage
To learn more about the benefits of TryEngineering Together, please join us for a free webinar with IEEE Executive Director and COO Stephen Welby.
Learn How IEEE Uses STEM eMentoring to Help Inspire the Next Generation of Engineers
Selko, Adrienne. (20 Nov 2018). Skills Gap Could Cost US Economy $2.5 Trillion Over Next Decade. Industry Week.
(12 Feb 2019). Research on the Engineering Talent Shortage Says We Should Start Worrying. Brightwing.
Ambrose, Mitch. (14 Mar 2019). Panel Warns US Faces STEM Workforce Supply Challenges. American Institute of Physics.
(16 May 2019). TryEngineering Together Named SIIA Education Technology 2019 CODiE Award Finalist for Best Instructional Solution. EIN Presswire.