Posts Tagged ‘Engineering’

The employment game – the discrimination against unemployed STEM professionals…

September 15, 2014

Naked Capitalism   is always a good source of information about the “real economy”.  You know, the one where all is not so rosy and hopeful.  Its a place where reality sets in and shines a light on  why the economy remains so crappy for so many five years into a so-called “recovery”.

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Lessons from Game Of Thrones – Geeks don’t get no respect

September 2, 2014

In the world of Game of Thrones where the sword is mightier than the pen, it comes as no surprise that geeks, dweebs, intellectuals of any stripe, get almost no respect.

Tales of the two biggest (and smallest) GOT geeks….

Samwell Tarly,  though high-born and bookish was neither brave nor athletic so his farther abandoned him to the Night’s Watch which was generally a dumping ground for bastards, rapists and murderers.  Actually  Samwell  was given a (cough…) choice, he could die in an “accident” in a hunt or he could take a life oath to serve in the night’s watch.  Ok that’s not a choice, but you get the picture.

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The business of science…

August 14, 2014

This blog is going to begin with a premise that I know will raise some eyebrows.  It is quite simply this:

Science is not a business…

To a scientist, this is obvious, but to business people I would expect howls of protest.  On the surface the  statement is counter-intuitive.   After all, entire industries are based on what science has discovered.  We have massive numbers of industrial laboratories that would indicate otherwise.  According to the WHO, the pharmaceutical industry is a $300 billion/year industry and growing rapidly.  So what do I mean by such a provocative  statement?

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STEM Career Viability – Where’s the Beef?

March 22, 2014

STEM education programs are hot…

OK, so we’ve woken up to the fact that we are falling behind in science and technology.  Almost everyone is making a massive fuss over STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.  In higher education circles, it seems like everyone is climbing onto the STEM bandwagon.  It seems like almost everyday I hear about a new STEM program.  Some campuses are even building  STEM centers.

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Hiring collusions impacting engineers salaries? NO! Really???

March 3, 2014

Its all over the media.  There is a huge “skills-mismatch” in the US.  In spite of high unemployment, millions of jobs in the so-called “STEM”  (science, technology, engineering and math)  fields are going begging because employers can not get enough “qualified” Americans to fill those positions.

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The feasibility factor – when a wage-mismatch stifles STEM…

February 18, 2014

In a recent post, Jared Bernstein gave voice to an issue that I have long been concerned about:  the feasibility of many STEM career tracks.  With all the hand-wringing about STEM, the facts surrounding wage stagnation and even depression are being blithely ignored. Everyone is bemoaning the so-called “skills-mismatch” without considering whether the salaries being offered are commensurate or even doable given the required years and cost of training for these careers.  Education is expensive and the “numbers” have to work for people to even bother entering certain career tracks.

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When the wealth of a few jeopardizes the security of the many…

January 29, 2014

Raspberry & Mandarin cheesecakeThe President is making his State of the union address tonight. We have been told to look forward to a speech dominated by issue of “income inequality”.   A divisive issue – most certainly, but timely and long overdue as the centerpiece of  domestic policy.

In a recent column in the New York Times (The Inequality Problem)  David Brooks  indicated that targeting the obscene wealth of the top 1% might be a moot point since the wealth at the top, though massively higher than it was in the past, is not making the rest of the world poorer.  To that assumption, the most polite thing I can think to say is “horse hockey!”

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The guest worker on an H1-B visa versus the US national with a STEM degree: Who wins? Who loses?

May 20, 2013

For the last several years there has been a massive amount of hand-wringing about how America is falling behind in the race to acquire the skills that the “haves” of the future will hold.  Most notably STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).  If we want to be a country of “have nots”, so the theory goes, we can continue on our present course of underachieving in these areas.  But if we want to regain our technological edge, and most importantly, bring down that stubbornly high unemployment rate, we have to put more American students on the STEM track.

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But What Happens to Excellence…?

February 12, 2013

Recently, The New York Times had a series of essays about being over 50 and out of work.  The “Older and Out Of Work” series fell well short of what I imagine to be the standards of the New York Times.  They offered the familiar bromides to those who are older and out of work including “upgrading your skills” ($$$) by “reinventing yourself”.  Start your own business – risky and even more ($$$).  Impractical as it was superficial many of the experiences of the respondents over 50 – helped set the record straight.

But more to the point of this blog was a common thread that ran through the entire series.  That thread was that job skills are as transient and fleeting as the latest fad.  Gangnam Style may be all the  rage now – but does anyone expect it to remain on the top of the charts for the next year?  That’s to be expected in the popular music industry.  But this sort of transience is now being applied to job skills – and that’s alarming.

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