The Global Talent Crisis by ProQuest

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									By Edward Gordon



The Global
Talent Crisis
Contrary to popular opinion, there are plenty
of open jobs. What’s missing are candidates
with skills.




                                                                                                ANGEL HERRERO DE FRUTOS / ISTOCKPHOTO




   We are in the midst of a global job    discouraged to even look for work or      struments. The tech-based U.S. econ-
and talent upheaval, the most re-         file for unemployment, and the num-       omy failed to invest enough long-
markable of any job and talent            ber of people working part time who       term resources to educate the
change since the Industrial Revolu-       wish to work full time, that figure       nation’s youth, preparing them to
tion and encompassing every aspect        now approaches 15%. Some 9 million        work in the next wave of emerging
of the global economy.                    people in the United States only have     science, technology, engineering, or
   The dawning of a new industrial        part-time work, up 83% from a year        mathematically based (STEM) jobs.
age, a period characterized by a          ago. Part-time workers account for           While much attention has been fo-
growing need for highly skilled tech-     almost 20% of the workforce. That         cused on how many millions of low-
nical workers, is driving this revolu-    number, too, will likely go up by         skill U.S. jobs have been outsourced,
tion. From now through the next           next year. There will be jobs in 2010,    little notice has been paid to how
dec ade and beyond, this need will        but highly skilled and educated           many millions of high-pay, high-skill
grow at an unrelenting pace. This         workers will have an easier time in a     tech jobs have been outsourced to
new age will require the reinvention      highly competitive environment.           Europe, Japan, Singapore, or other
of the education-to-employment sys-          This is a familiar refrain; we’ve      countries with well-educated labor
tem. Simply put, we need to prepare       been hearing alarms about the skills      pools. Meanwhile, U.S. businesses
more people for jobs that are now be-     gap for years. But if ever there was a    are importing STEM talent from
ing created by an ultra-high-tech         time to get serious about helping         abroad using H-1B visas to keep the
economy. In the United States alone,      workers acquire the right skills, this    nation’s tech-based economy operat-
this high-tech age could spur the         is it.                                    ing.
economy to a GDP of $20 trillion per                                                   The United States has outsourced
year by 2019 (Congressional Budget                                                  advanced technological production,
                                          Clearing the Decks: What Today’s
Office estimate), compared with a                                                   design, and management capacity.
                                          Downturn Means for Tomorrow’s
little over $14 trillion now. But prog-                                             Also, many U.S. industries have be-
                                          Job Market
ress is not guaranteed, and the boun-                                               come over-reliant on H-1B “specialty
ties of success will not be evenly dis-     Over the last 10 years, the real U.S.   occupation” visas to import workers
tributed.                                 economy did grow. Unfortunately,          from overseas. However, over the
   In the United States, the official     too much of the wealth created was        next decade, U.S. companies will
unemployment rate is projected to         based on short-term financial specu-      have trouble building new high-tech
top out at near 10.5% by 2010. Fac-       lation all around the globe and the       factories in high-skill counties like
toring in the number of people too        manipulation of exotic financial in-      South Korea, Japan, or Germany, be-

34   THE FUTURIST    September-October 2009   www.wfs.org
cause their workforces will have be-     5.6%, 3 million jobs remained vacant     need for talent grows, even China’s
gun shrinking. In fact, many coun-       (i.e., jobs advertised for six months    and India’s educational systems will
tries will probably bring more           or more that remain unfilled). The       not be able to produce enough quali-
production into the United States if     vast majority of vacant jobs are         fied graduates for themselves, let
they can locate communities that         STEM related. They require a good        alone act as safety valves for the rest
have developed appropriate high-         high-school education, plus special-     of the world. But the heart of this
tech workforces.                         ized postsecondary career education,     issue is the seldom understood fact
   At the same time, U.S. firms will     two-year or four-year college de-        that the education-to-employment
still seek to use H-1B visas to bring    grees, one- or two-year college occu-    system worldwide is badly out of
engineers, t
								
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