Global

Opportunity, Collaboration & Discovery

The Emerging Job Market

CJ Westerberg, January 6, 2011 3:32 PM

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"It's more evidence that America is facing a bifurcated employment future. At the top end is a highly educated, technically competent workforce attuned to the demands of the global marketplace. At the other end is a willing but underskilled group that is seeing its prospects undermined by workers in countries like China in low-end manufacturing and by
a skills mismatch in emerging industries
. . ." 


Does Your Grad Have What it Takes?


in this week's Time:

Kent Niederhofer can't find enough mechanical engineers to work for him - in southeastern Michigan. You know, where Detroit is, with its 13.3% unemployment rate. Niederhofer is president of the American branch of Ricardo, an engineering consultancy that designs the power trains of some of the coolest stuff around: Bugatti sports cars, huge wind turbines and unmanned aerial vehicles. "We are doing rocket science every day," says Niederhofer. "It's just not on rockets." So Ricardo got a little desperate, renting a billboard to place a help-wanted ad that featured a picture of a sexy-looking sports car, the tagline "Why you became an engineer" and a Web address for job seekers. He calls it engineer porn. . .

 . . .At the white collar end of town, the auditing and consulting firm Deloitte is on a hiring mission. It recently became the world's largest professional-services firm, boasting 170,000 employees, and it has been scouring college campuses for fresh brains. The firm needs tax specialists, lawyers, auditors and other bright minds who can be taught to solve the problems of the planet's businesses - problems that are changing in a world where Chinese, Brazilian and Indian companies are transforming markets. . .

College graduates, real work experience counts:

Already, those on the front lines of the job search - like college career officers - are noticing a difference. For college graduates, 2011 figures to be a much better year than the two that preceded it. How could it not? The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's career-services office reports that 7% more interviews were scheduled by companies on campus this past fall than the year before. Still, that's 19% below the figure for fall 2007, so students shouldn't expect a welcoming party. Says career-development director Ray Angle: "I cannot tell you how many times I'm sitting across from a recruiter and they say they want to make sure we're getting the best 10% to 20%." That on-campus tete-a-tete has gotten much more competitive. "People want the best and the brightest," says Angle. "It used to be they said they wanted qualified candidates. But now they say they want people to hit the ground running."

How about education?
The $64,000 question is, So where are those 5 million jobs? Some of the answer is obvious. Health care and education, the perennial job comets, are doing well. But professional and business services will do well too. . .  

Tech Leads the Way
Among the happiest people around will be those working in the technology sector; network-systems and data analysts are the second-fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. after biomedical engineers. No surprise, since companies have been ramping up their spending on software and computer services. For technology companies, it seems, the most recent recession did not exist. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick says his company has doubled in size in the past four years and is hiring artists, animators, designers and programmers. One issue: how to keep them from being spirited away by even hotter companies like . . .


One has to ask how well we are preparing our youth for a future where global and tech skills and knowledge are an integral component of a well-rounded education:

It's more evidence that America is facing a bifurcated employment future. At the top end is a highly educated, technically competent workforce attuned to the demands of the global marketplace. At the other end is a willing but underskilled group that is seeing its prospects undermined by workers in countries like China in low-end manufacturing and by a skills mismatch in emerging industries. . .


###

Related posts The Daily Riff:
Would You Hire Your Own Kids?  7 Skills Schools Should Be Teaching Them
by Tony Wagner, Author of "The Global Achievement Gap"


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