National Science Board Warns that the U.S. Needs to “Step Up” its Game to Improve Future and Pipeline of its Skilled Technical Workforce

Sep 25, 2019

by ASME.org

The National Science Board (NSB) recently released issued a new call to focus on the skilled technical workforce. By 2022, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) estimates that there will be roughly 3.4 million unfilled skilled technical jobs in the U.S., with many of those jobs in government. 

In a new report titled, “The Skilled Technical Workforce,” the NSB delves into why NASEM predicts such a dearth of skilled workers in the coming years, and explores ways to counteract this. This includes a strong emphasis on continued support for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education (STEM) with focus on opening STEM opportunities for minorities and communities not currently afforded as many opportunities to engage.

“The multiple educational pathways into the [science and engineering-S&E] enterprise are complementary and interdependent. Together they produce the educated, skilled, and diverse workforce the U.S. needs in today’s knowledge- and technology-intensive world.”

In addition to examining the current problem and reasons behind it, the NSB also provides a set of recommendations to help mitigate it in the long run. These recommendations seek to help employers better understand characteristics of a robust skilled technical workforce, as implement skill development programs and policies to nurture and develop these skills over the long term.

“We must “step up” our game and nurture and expand our domestic talent along the entire S&E worker-value chain from the [skilled technical worker] to the Ph.D. if our workforce is to remain competitive.”

To view the report in full, click here: https://www.nsf.gov/nsb/publications/2019/nsb201923.pdf

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