Thursday, March 07, 2013

Opportunity is Spelled S-T-E-M

The dearth of skilled workers with professional engineering skills is pushing salaries to record highs. According to Bradley Olson, Edward Klump, and Jack Kaskey of Bloomberg (2013, March 7):
Engineers and similar professionals earned an average $183,000 to $285,000 in 2012 depending on their position and background, a 20% to 50% jump since 2009... Wages in energy and mining have grown at nine times the rate of all industries since 2008, and starting salaries for petroleum engineering graduates are about $98,000, up 9.7% since 2008.
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The shortage of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) trained employees in the US is real, and likely to worsen. My advice to the college-bound is to signup for the hardest STEM-focused courses available at your college or university. Also, join a professional association that advocates for your chosen STEM-related discipline and get involved in its activities, including webinars and conferences. Finally, look for an internship in your field where you can work on actual projects in an active work setting. Acquiring world-class skills and experience in STEM-related disciplines is the best advice I can offer to ambitious workers and leaders seeking to get ahead in the still emerging global economy.

Source: Olson, B, Klump, E, & Kaskey, J (2013, March 7), Dearth of Skilled Workers Imperils $100 Billion Projects, Bloomberg.

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