Career Corner: A Monthly Executive Search Firm News Article Series.
The Need for Talent in Today’s Job Market
September 1st, 2011
With unemployment on the rise and the economy still trying to climb out of the gutter, many people are still left waiting in line when it comes to finding a job. Many people are wondering why they still cannot find a job, and the answer for most is because there just are not enough jobs out there to satisfy the demand. Is this really the problem or could there be another cause that is keeping such high levels of unemployment? The truth is that most of these were very competitive jobs that required a few years of college experience or a previous apprenticeship in order for a candidate to qualify. Many new job seekers just do not have the talent and skills that are required to fill many of the modern jobs.
In order to fix this lack of talent, in the current American working population, it is critical that the source of the problem be addressed. The American education system has a huge influence on the level of talent in the workforce and currently it just isn’t getting the job done. The issue is not the idea that many people believe, which is that the education system isn’t as strong as it was fifty years ago. The real issue is that the American education system has not grown to develop students in specialized fields such as math, science, and engineering as quickly as the needs for these sectors are arising. As a percentage of the American population as a whole, there are relatively fewer candidates with a specialized degree in one of the previous three disciplines when compared to the same statistic during the Cold War Era of the 50s and 60s. This is in part due to the fact that the government put a lot of emphasis on making sure that people were educated in these fields, because of the space race and other events that were taking place during this period of time.
The educational system of the United States is behind the times, while other countries, like Germany, are prepared to provide their populations with the necessary skills for jobs of the future. At some point, kids may not even have a choice as to what degree they decide to specialize in if they want to continue to have a successful career in the United States. If the education process in the United States continues on its current trend, the job market will be flooded with individuals who are only able to perform jobs of a lower skill level, while the supply of these jobs will be very low. On the other hand there will be an increase in the number of jobs for high skilled employees in the realms of math, science, and engineering, while there will not be enough people in these sectors to fill the positions available. As a result, the American population will start to see many of these potentially lucrative jobs being outsourced overseas to countries that are better equipped with the talent necessary to fill these positions. In the end, the lack of talent in the American work force may actually induce employers to get more involved in the education system. Employers are going to have to start giving their employees the training that is required, instead of relying on the school system, if they want to see the results they are looking for.