Partner with a staffing company to source STEM talent

It is becoming increasingly clear to employers across the United States that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs take more than twice as long to fill as other openings. With STEM jobs increasing consistently, outpacing every other industry for job demand, employers are finding it more challenging than ever before to hire talented candidates with STEM backgrounds.

With the skills gap only widening as employers continue to demand more STEM backgrounds, many companies find themselves without options for hiring because there likely won’t be a significant increase in STEM backgrounds until today’s younger students have graduated and enter the workforce in the coming years. Even then, it is still expected that the STEM demand will continue to rise alongside advances in technology. In 2013 alone, 43.2 percent of job openings in the region required STEM skills.
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Using agile programming ideas in your IT recruiting

149134795I’ve led and been part of agile development teams for over a decade – and have been hiring developers for even longer.  Through both types of experiences I’ve been able to apply agile development ideas to IT recruiting, interviewing and screening high quality tech candidates. And now, I’d like to pass that experience along.

Let’s talk about agile programming

My introduction to agile programming was from Kent Beck’s eXtreme Programming books. If you haven’t read them, his core idea was that software development needs to embrace change, and he suggests that there are certain practices that are so helpful in the face of change, that they should be used in the extreme. Beck based his work on best practices, but many readers saw the ideas of pair-programming, unit-testing, simple designs, refactoring and continuous integration for the first time in his books.

Creating an agile IT recruiting process

Just like in programming, it’s important to be agile throughout the recruitment process. So, to follow Beck’s lead, I took a look at what was working in my personal recruiting process and tried to figure out how to increase its effectiveness by doing more of it.

In programming, the point of being agile is to react to change, but in recruiting, the point of being agile is to see more candidates. Rather than rushing towards filtering and only deeply interviewing a few candidates, I tried to figure out a quick way to get to know as many candidates as possible.
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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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