The root of a STEM career: Introducing Chandler Burke

Future Engineer Scholarship Winner_Chandler BurkeAs I sit down to write my introduction, I realize that I’m really excited to have this opportunity. Truthfully, I’ve never blogged before. It’s not that I’m shy or nervous or anything. It’s just that I’ve always been lagging behind in social networking. Of all my friends I have been the last to get a phone, and certainly the last to sign onto Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Snapchat.

But through this blog I will relate my experiences at Rice University and hopefully encourage students to sincerely consider a major and career in an engineering and technical field.

By this time, you’re probably wondering who I am, so here it goes. My name is Chandler Burke, and I’ve just finished my first year at Rice University as an Electrical Engineering major. My long-term goals are to earn my PhD and perform research as either a college professor or for a company in a Research & Development capacity.

As Electrical Engineering teaches one skills that are applicable in a wide variety of fields, I have multiple options for specialization such as MRI imaging of the brain to more “standard” electrical engineering applications such as designing circuits, improving computer hardware, signal processing, system design or even device physics.

For this blog, I plan to simply share my experiences and observations. I’m not one to pass on too much advice—most people seem to know what they want, and advice from a random stranger isn’t going to do convince you to change your life, nor should it. Heck, my parents would argue that I hardly even listen to them, so if that’s the case why should I expect you to listen to me?
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STEM skills gap: Now is the time to act

STEMednews

The demand for professionals with STEM backgrounds – meaning Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – is steadily rising. Currently, there are 1.4 vacant STEM jobs for every qualified STEM job-seeker. If this rate persists, by 2018 there will be a projected 1.7 million STEM jobs without qualified applicants to fill them.

Filling this skills gap presents an education challenge for the American job market. A recent article cites that “In 2013, there were 5.7 million total postings in STEM fields. Of those, 76%, or 4.4 million, require at least a bachelor’s degree, and 41%, or 2.3 million, are entry-level jobs requiring less than 2 years of experience.” To that point, only 28% of undergraduate students presently partake in STEM courses in college – even with an abundance of available jobs on the rise in these areas.

Yet, the STEM gap doesn’t begin in college; the fact remains that by the time job-seekers are in college or post-college, it’s too late to develop the necessary background to support open STEM job functions. As such, another route must be taken to fill the growing STEM gap – and it must begin early in the academic journey. To truly impact the STEM gap, students and educators alike must begin looking at earlier education for the foundation of a solid STEM background.

So, we have a solution. But does the majority of the American public know that this serious issue even exists? Does the public know that American children’s proficiencies in math and science are shrinking? And that only 18% percent of all college engineering majors are female?

If the answer to these questions is no, then how do we get the American public on board with early STEM education? The short answer is to educate our public on the STEM skills gap issue and what the crisis means for our future.
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Five rockstars of the job market

151329130test2014 has shown signs of particular growth – all of which results of key factors, including shifts in the economy and significant current events.

The job market continues to hold strong in a few key industries: healthcare, finance, computer systems and information, and employment services. Although this list isn’t exhaustive, these industries will continue to play a big role in the 2014 job market and the future of the job market altogether. Many positions in these industries require new support roles or other professions that are attainable through a certification process; job seekers should approach large industries with an open mind and consider breaking into new industries through a surplus of emerging support roles.
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Announcing the winner of our 2014 Future Engineers Scholarship

Future Engineer Scholarship Winner_Chandler BurkeAs part of our dedication to closing the STEM (science, technology, engineering & mathematics) skills gap by promoting and supporting STEM education, we at Adecco Engineering & Technology award our Future Engineers Scholarship to a promising engineering student each year. We are happy to announce that our 2014 winner has been selected.

Chandler Burke is a rising sophomore and engineering student at Rice University where he also plays trumpet in the MOB, the Rice Owl Marching Band. He plans to specialize in electrical or biomedical engineering and currently holds an impressive 4.0 GPA. An Eagle Scout, Burke is also a member of the Rice Owls Photonics Society, Engineering Leadership and Robotics Team.

This summer, he plans to participate in a Quantitative and Physical Sciences Research Fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern. One of his many achievements includes earning the 2013 President’s Environmental Youth Award.

After earning his Bachelor’s Degree, Burke plans to pursue his Masters and Ph.D. with an emphasis in Neuro-Engineering, the emerging discipline that uses electrical engineering techniques to study the human brain. His ultimate career goal is to become a research scientist. As of now, he plans to use engineering techniques to study the human brain to both learn more and, potentially, help alleviate those with neuro-degenerative diseases.
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STEM & vocational skills gaps: The importance of early education

techwomanThe availability of workers with expertise in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or what we commonly refer to as STEM skills, is in decline. The demand, on the other hand, is increasing rapidly. In fact, according to this Business Insider article, a little over 9 million baby-boomers have retired over the past six years, and one-fifth of baby-boomers will retire in the coming years, making this quite an alarming trend.

The jobs exist, but often they cannot be filled because of a lack of STEM or other vocational skills in the emerging workforce. These skills gaps can have very harmful effects on the job market and global economy. All is not lost though, and the future seems rather optimistic.

How can we help fill those gaps and get the next generation of workers involved and interested in STEM-related careers?
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Advantages of outsourcing & consulting for project management

Special projects can solve big problems and be very rewarding, but often lead to unforeseen costs and big headaches. The key to avoiding complications is to ensure that you’re starting off every project with the best possible chance of not only succeeding, but also moving forward smoothly and on time. If your team’s workflow is too overburdened to tackle the planning phase, or really any phase, consider working with an outside vendor with the time and resources to do the project correctly.

Best practices for project management outsourcing and consulting

Projects often start off with a vague goal and a fuzzy plan of action – a problem that can grow into a monster over the course of its deployment.  Make sure to check the following tasks off your list before moving forward:
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