Science & Engineering - The Canary in the Coal Mine (Originally published April 2008)

More and more industries are facing the reality of an aging workforce. Whether older workers retire gradually or in droves, one thing is for certain: There will NOT be a 1:1 replacement ratio of talent. In the next decade the shortage of skilled workers available in the U.S. will reach new heights. One of the first sectors to feel the impact of these demographic shifts is Science and Engineering. What unfolds in this arena will likely foreshadow the labor market at large, and challenge the very viability of some businesses.
  • 26% of all Science and Engineering degrees holders are over 50
  • 40% of Science and Engineering doctorate degree holders are over 50
  • 27% of Engineers in the Aerospace and Defense industries are eligible for retirement this year
  • Enrollment in U.S. graduate Computer Science and Engineering programs is decreasing while the global market for talent in these fields is increasing
  • Among the dwindling numbers of graduates from American universities, an increasing number of foreign born Science and Engineering students are leaving the U.S. upon graduation due to a lack of available H1-B visas
Science and Engineering industries will have to face this challenge. What trends do you see in your own organization? What steps do you need to take to ensure its future?

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