GorT’s company is hiring. We’re a small company and the founders are ruing the day when they have to make the decision to hire employee #50 with all the federal mandates that come with that.
As part of this hiring, GorT went to a career fair held at his (and the Volgi’s and ‘Puter’s) high school alma mater where job-seekers from high school seniors through college graduates with up to about three years of experience were vying for internships and full-time positions. Simply put, I was floored at the lack of anyone in the STEM fields. Maybe it’s a factor that those people aren’t looking for employment as they are already employed.
I was encouraged by the enthusiasm and the way in which the attendees carried themselves. But I seriously don’t know how employable a Spanish-Art dual major graduate is. Or how many “international conflict resolution” majors are needed? And seriously, if your undergraduate degree is that specific, you’re in trouble.
The problem is also exacerbated by the skew of the male to female ratio in the STEM fields. There are many people who push to have companies hire more women or minorities but it’s hard to find qualified candidates in those categories. Even when you back up to colleges and look at the enrollment in the computer science field – it’s still skewed. Studies have backed up even further and looked at who is taking the AP Computer Science exam. Women only make up 18% of the exam participants, 8% were Hispanic and 4% were black. In comparison, the high school population to compare those percentages to is roughly 50% women (duh), 22% Hispanic, and 14% black.
I think partnerships between the tech industry and high schools could go a long way in improving both of these issues. GorT is attending his elementary school’s career day later this month and plans on selling the kids on the work, benefits and excitement that comes with a career in the technology industry. It’s a small thing. We’re also launching an internship program this year.
Realistically, I know that STEM and particularly Computer Science isn’t for everyone and we need a diverse range of skills and workers in this country. However, the global marketplace is changing and many of the new jobs and market segments require these skills. Someone somewhere will fill it. I just hope it’s an American.