Friday, June 03, 2005

We don't have enough smart people for jobs

he shortage of qualified workers in the U.S. power generation industry is bound to get worse in the next five years, officials said Tuesday.

By 2007, the number of power industry jobs will exceed the number of workers, said Elaine Weinstein, senior vice president and chief diversity officer for Brooklyn-based Keyspan Corp., which sells electricity and natural gas.

By 2012, the gap should widen, with about 10,000 power industry jobs more than available workers to fill them, Weinstein said, citing federal Bureau of Labor Statistics projections.

S.S. "Mani" Venkata, dean of the School of Engineering at Clarkson University in Potsdam, said the image of engineers in this country is one reason young people don't choose that field. "It's not a prestige career ... like law, or business," he said. "People in the U.S. think of it as an applied sciences degree, but it is a professional degree," he said.

He warned that the United States is graduating only 60,000 engineers a year, while China graduates more than 600,000 and India 300,000 from their schools.

There has always been worker shortages, I don't think even Cheops had enough workers for the Great Pyramid.

My daughter is only 2, in 20 years she will be entering the work force. I am no prophet but what I think will be likely to be in place at that time, given current conditions, is:
* India and China will be superpowers. So learning a bit about those cultures would be a good thing.
* Companies will not treat their workers much better or worse then they are now, so not being dependent on them is a good idea.
* Having multiple streams of income for your family is a better idea.
* Be prepared to be an independent contractor your entire life.
* Owning your own business would be a good idea.

I want her to be able to do hard jobs. Jobs that are highly creative, and that solve problems and that give people what they want.

What jobs are you preparing your children to have?


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