“It’s really disappointing for companies like mine, when every single headline is about joblessness, to know that there are actually hundreds of thousands of jobs that are going without being filled,” said Lisa Hook, CEO of Neustar Inc., a Sterling, Va.-based telecommunications company. “Get me qualified people, and we’re taking qualified applications in the back of the room,” she added, drawing a round of laughter from the congresswomen and audience. “Because we never miss an opportunity.” “It’s incredibly challenging to get good technical people,” said Alison Brown, CEO of Navsys Corp., a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based GPS technology company. “There’s an enormous amount of demand, there’s competition, quite frankly between industries and labs and federal institutes.”Navsys appears to have 5 (five) openings on their website. Neustar appears to have 32 openings on their website. Job growth must be happening at other companies, I suppose.
We also get the huge conflation of the "S" with the "TEM". It seems like TEM jobs are well-paid and regularly looking for people, while there's plenty of labor supply of the "S" and relatively few openings.
The problem, the business leaders said, boils down to the dearth of qualified people with expertise in science, technology, engineering and math, collectively known as STEM. Hook, the telecommunications executive, ticked off what she called troubling statistics: By 2018, there will be 1.4 million computing job openings in the United States, but given graduation rates, only 29 percent of those jobs will be filled by U.S. graduates; 40 states produce fewer computing graduates than needed to fill projected openings in their states; and the number of girls studying computing has declined 13 percent in the past 10 years.
The statistics come from the National Center for Women & Information Technology, which culled the numbers from various government departments. “We need a lot of federal assistance in encouraging children to go into STEM, we need to make it accessible and available starting in the ninth grade,” Hook said.Nothing quite like lobbying Congress to cut your business costs -- sigh.
I think my opprobrium is best held for Ms. Janet Trautwein, who exemplifies every irritating HR manager in the history of corporate America:
Not all the CEOs at Monday’s panel need STEM graduates for their companies. Echoing some of her colleagues, Janet Trautwein, head of the National Association of Health Underwriters, said her professional association has many more applicants that it has jobs to offer. And she had some bad news for overqualified workers. “I do have a lot of people applying for positions that are really entry-level positions with way too much experience, and frankly I can’t hire [them] for those positions because I can’t pay them what they need, and also they won’t like it,” she said. “They wouldn’t be satisfied with that.”
After the panel, Trautwein said she had hired highly experienced people for low-level positions, only to have them quit two months later. Her advice to people applying to jobs for which they are overqualified: Explain yourself up front, either in the cover letter, or at the beginning of the interview, and make a case for why you are willing to take a position far beneath your skill level.