Long-Term Talent Acquisition Models

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Insights and Trends - STEM Recruiting

Insights and Trends - STEM Recruiting

As STEM fields continue to grow and expand, educators and corporations are directing their search for new employees with an increased emphasis on soft skills and the growing number of blue-collar jobs in the field along with working to address the lack of diversity and inclusion within STEM fields concerning gender and race.

Emphasis on soft skills and the future of blue-collar positions in STEM

  • An increasing number of companies are seeking to expand the number of students interested in "blue-collar" STEM positions which may not require undergraduate or advanced degrees but still demand specified training.
  • Dr. Victor McCrary, a member of the National Science Board, said the NSB needs to focus on the growth of the 'blue-collar STEM' workers by appealing to more students through internships, apprenticeships, and non-college tracks along with undergraduates.
  • STEM leaders have also called for an increase in mid-level technicians, including Kai-Fu Lee, former president of Google China’s research arm, who predicted that artificial intelligence would replace white-collar jobs faster than blue-collar positions.
  • Since there a number of growing fields that require specific training, including solar and wind power, Nicole Smith, the chief economist at Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, said more students should be encouraged to obtain industry-based certifications since those will carry currency in their specific field.
  • The Program 100kin10 has more than 200 partners working to create 100,000 new STEM teachers by 2021 by embracing a "whole child" approach to learning that goes beyond hard skills by embracing experimentation and social learning during in-person and virtual learning events.
  • Janesville Schools in southern Wisconsin has implemented a plan to offer specialized skills to high schoolers so they can enter the workforce with the training necessary for current openings and capitalizing on two-year technical degrees and certifications, which is particularly apt in their local economy as it shifts away from manufacturing jobs.
  • Addressing Underrepresentation of Women In STEM

  • The gender disparity in STEM opportunities has been an issue for several years, but there is a growing push for equality by a number of non-profits, companies, and universities to target younger girls in order to expose them to science, mathematics, technology, and engineering.
  • One format to address this disparity is focusing on revamping educational content to become more inclusive of different genders by emphasizing more interdisciplinary approaches and focusing on real life adaptations of the material to encourage girls to explore the field.
  • The STEM Education for Girls at The Harpeth Hall School incorporates these findings by recruiting girls from across Nashville, with particular focus on underserved areas, to help them understand engineering challenges by designing safe stoves and utensils for use during the rainy season to help women in the rural community of Lwala, Kenya.
  • The National Girls Collaborative developed a program which targets both girls and women to strengthen STEM-related opportunities by maximizing access to resources and collaborating with national and local organizations focused on industries from wind power to space exploration.
  • The National Action Council For Minorities In Engineering expanded the diversity of STEM by holding the first Design Ideation Camp at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering Makerspace to address the growing relationship between fashion and technology by exploring non-traditional uses for STEM degrees with fashion mogul Rebecca Minkoff.
  • Lockheed Martin launched a pilot program with Girls Inc. which matches company volunteers with girls ages 9-12 to help increase their confidence in STEM education through events, mentorship, and resources.
  • Increased outreach to marginalized groups

  • Experts said renewed focus should be placed on minority students' early experiences with STEM after an academic paper found Black and Hispanic students who attended a four-year college were more likely than white students to take at least one STEM course during their first year and even complete a STEM degree if they were prepared and supported by their family.
  • Educators also noted this employment gap could be decreased by targeting more students from community colleges to work in STEM positions that don't require undergraduate degrees.
  • PEW Research said Blacks and Hispanics are underrepresented in the STEM workforce relative to their shares in the U.S. workforce as a whole, aside from the sole exception of health care practitioners and technicians, so future employers should look to diversify in more fields aside from health care.
  • JobTrain has incorporated this angle by working with minorities and highly marginalized populations, including formerly incarcerated people, in Silicon Valley to help prepare them for emerging STEM-related fields by partnering with local tech companies. Their projects include a youth services program which provides paid work experience and job placement opportunities with funding from the 1998 Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act. CEO Barry Hathaway said the company provides a number of on-ramp solutions for locals in the California tech-headquarters to help shorten the time from training to employment.
  • Adams State University hosts a Migrant STEM Academy which offers 25 Hispanic students from Colorado middle schools, including many first-generation migrants, the opportunity to meet and learn from STEM professors about robotics, mathematics, and hydrology.
  • The National Society of Black Engineers partners with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) chapter of the Society of Women Engineers to help expand access to children seeing Black and minority STEM leaders currently active in the field to help expose them to new opportunities and role models.
  • Research Strategy

We began by investigating media reports about new programs and conferences specializing in education and recruiting for STEM positions. This uncovered several major trends that companies and educational institutions were working to address in their current workforce and with younger students. We then explored those by using scholarly articles, presentations, panels, media reports, and more. The sources used in that research included but were not limited to: Forbes, Fast Company, U.S. News Stem Solutions, Recruiting Daily, National Association of Colleges and Employers, US Black Engineer, Modern Hire, Pew Research, Stanford University Science Of Outreach.

Coordinating between the various sources, researchers were able to narrow the field into the three described trends after finding repeated correlations between the issues of gender disparity in tech, underrepresentation of minorities, and the need to diversify what is considered a STEM job by the mainstream with a push for more "blue-collar" positions.

Sources
Sources

Quotes
  • "100Kin10 is charting a course to train and retain 100,000 excellent STEM teachers. But we’re not doing it alone. We cultivate a network of best-in-class organizations to make ambitious commitments to our shared goal, foster trust between those organizations and facilitate networked problem-solving to tackle the biggest challenges facing STEM education. "
Quotes
  • "“Certainly going right into a university pathway is a great choice for some kids,” says Pophal, who has a good-natured demeanor, Ron Howard-like looks and a Midwestern accent. But he says there’s a “disconnect” between the skills students acquire in universities and those that help land the in-demand blue-collar and technical jobs in their hometowns. "
  • " The city’s two traditional high schools are creating programs in mechatronics, a growing field that combines mechanical engineering and electronics; Pophal is also courting businesses and adding more opportunities for workplace learning. And he has brought in an education company to help teachers engage students, rather than lecturing at them."
Quotes
  • "According to The Hidden STEM Economy, “installation, maintenance, and repair occupations constitute 12 percent of all STEM jobs, one of the largest occupational categories.” "
  • "Education Week compiled and analyzed salary data, demands for hiring, and training needs for STEM careers and determined that the following blue-collar STEM jobs are most in-demand: wind turbine service technician, industrial machinery mechanic, automotive service technician, health technologist, home healthcare aid, and computer user support specialist. These careers are projected to increase demand by double digits—in some cases, 40 percent or higher."
Quotes
  • "Technology companies are hard at work attempting to oust white-collar workers, by automating their jobs entirely or by reducing their numbers. The venture capitalist Kai-Fu Lee, former president of Google China’s research arm, has his sights set on jobs that are costly to corporations."
Quotes
  • "A 2015 paper based on tracking four cohorts of 5th-grade students in Florida for many years found that the black and Hispanic students who went straight into a four-year college after high school were actually more likely than white students to take at least one STEM course in their first year of college. And they were just as likely to complete a STEM degree—if they came with the same level of preparation and family support as their peers. "
  • "Yet educational projections lag behind reality, and many blue-collar, STEM-related jobs, like those in health-care support and technology, will probably require some postsecondary training in the future, warns Smith of Georgetown. She and other Georgetown researchers have documented the "upskilling" of many jobs and industries that recovered after the 2008 recession: Many of them now require additional credentials. "
Quotes
  • "In an all-girl environment, collaboration skills are easy to hone. Our approach is inquiry-focused, project-based and student-centered where girls learn to take risks, engage with scientific thinking and the engineering design process while building confidence to apply their understanding to the world’s problems."
Quotes
  • "One excellent example of the difference we are making is through our STEM Summer Institute or SSI. We recruit girls from all over greater Nashville (19 schools total), including some of our most underserved areas, and bring the best and brightest girls to campus for our research-based STEM summer program. We offer scholarships and free transportation to eliminate the barriers some students might have in getting to SSI. "
  • "Less than 20% of the degrees in engineering and less than 20% of the degrees in computer science (and information science and support services) are awarded to women. When we look at women of color, the numbers are even smaller. Asian women earn 5% of all STEM undergraduate degrees, while black women earn 2.9% and Latinas earn 3.8% of all STEM undergraduate degrees. "
Quotes
  • "Throughout 2018, the NGCP conducted a planning process to outline a forward direction for 2019 and beyond. This strategic focus is on maintaining the health and building the sustainability of the national network. The NGCP plans to streamline communications across the national network, further support and amplify local and regional collaborative efforts, and seek national partnerships in the interest of the overall network. "
Quotes
  • "When asked about the job market for female engineers looking for non-traditional engineering roles, Rebecca Minkoff responded, she would hire four female programmers in a heartbeat with the talent to combine fashion and technology, but they’re just not there."
  • "“The future of clothing as we know it is about to change. To be a part of this change we need technology”"
Quotes
  • "To help address these challenges and strengthen the workforce pipeline, Lockheed Martin provides generous funding to STEM education outreach activities for students from elementary school through college. We are committed to supporting programs, events and campaigns that focus on student achievement, teacher development, and gender and ethnic diversity. "
Quotes
  • "Increasingly, educators and others are coming to realize that STEM skills can serve as a foundation for a well-rounded education. At 100Kin10, we are taking note that expert teachers from across the country have pointed out that the myth that STEM is only about hard skills is slowly waning and that funders like the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative are embracing the “whole child” approach to learning, combining physical, mental, social-emotional, and cognitive development with traditional academics. "
Quotes
  • "According to a CareerBuilder survey, 69% of employers said every job is essentially a “tech job” because some part of the responsibilities is dependent on their ability to utilize various technologies. “This shift will push companies to create upskilling and reskilling opportunities for current employees to make sure that they remain competitive, and will require job seekers to pursue skills and educational opportunities to meet the growing demand for high-wage jobs that involve tech,” she explains. "
Quotes
  • "To help fill the gaps, many K-12 schools, community colleges, and four-year institutions are revamping their courses and curricula; partnering with companies on industry-aligned programs, apprenticeships, career pathways and reskilling efforts; and otherwise rethinking the ways that people teach and learn. Hear from voices from across the education spectrum as they share their thoughts on the best ways to align education with the demands of a changing job landscape."
Quotes
  • "We’ll have to prepare students for work that doesn’t exist yet. As an example, in 2014, LinkedIn’s top ten jobs were jobs that hadn’t existed five years prior: social media intern, iOS/Android developer, cloud manager, big data architect, or UI/UX designer as examples. How many new jobs that don’t exist today will a person have during a 150-year lifespan? "
  • "We can’t extrapolate from where we are today to meet the challenges of the workforce of 2030 or 2040. Our postsecondary learning system will have to engage students differently than before. "
Quotes
  • "JobTrain transforms lives and communities in Silicon Valley. We help the Valley’s most in need reclaim their lives from poverty and unemployment by preparing them for successful, sustainable careers in high-demand and emerging fields. "
Quotes
  • "According to an Engineers and Engineering Brand Monitor study, only 29 percent of females between the ages 7-11 have positive perceptions of jobs in engineering. Between ages 15-16, that number drops to an alarming 20 percent. Compare that to males at 52 percent between ages 7-11, and 65 percent between ages 15-16. "
Quotes
  • "Though career fairs are still tools used by employers to recruit students and recent graduate talent, informal events are becoming increasingly popular. These informal events give employers a chance to ignite and embolden their brands on campus, often equating certain activities to their organization. Employers and career services offices are working together to create targeted programming designed to increase individual engagement with the students. "
Quotes
  • "Overall, blacks and Hispanics are underrepresented in the STEM workforce relative to their shares in the U.S. workforce as a whole. This underrepresentation is evident across all STEM job clusters, with one exception: 11% of health care practitioners and technicians are black, similar to the share of blacks in the total workforce. "
Quotes
  • "During the job boom in 20th-century manufacturing, a high school diploma was the primary qualification for candidates, providing employers with a large talent pool for recruitment and hiring. With the increase in the use of automation, robotics, AI and advanced manufacturing equipment, today’s companies need a higher percentage of candidates with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) college degrees. "
Quotes
  • "Many of the students who attend the academy are first-generation. Few have parents who graduated high school, let alone college. "
Quotes
  • "Anna Park, chief executive officer for Great Minds in STEM, said Park said the biggest problem was that universities and workplaces were not recruiting enough from community colleges. "We need to improve that collaboration," she said. "
Quotes
  • "“It’s important for other minority students to see that they can be engineers, they can be any type of scientist they want to be,” she said. “You don’t have to be a football player or entertainer to be successful. Exposing [young people] to professions early on helps them break out of the box.” "
Quotes
  • "“There’s so much value in STEM literacy across multiple career paths. And, again, without that, the Black community and other minority communities, quite frankly, would be left behind. We really need those of us who do know better and who do have the access, we need to continue to pry the door open,” Williams added. "
Quotes
  • "As part of a pilot project at Georgia Tech to bring AP Computer Science to Atlanta students, teacher Shana White makes sure to use hands-on activities and real-world examples to supplement the online coursework and provide context and purpose for assignments. "