Job Outlook Strong for Young High-tech or Finance Graduates
The good news on the job front: Promising future if you are a teenager
or 20-something, and if you are an older professional who avoided IT or
engineering layoff. The bad news: If you are now without a professional
job and more than 40 years old, there is little hope, (but then you
already knew that.)
Computer giant HP and oil giant ExxonMobil both announced new grants
and incentives to promote advanced education with young minorities and
public institutions. HP will award grants totaling $2.8 million in cash
and HP equipment to two-and four-year colleges and universities in the
United States and Puerto Rico.
The 2007 HP Technology for Teaching Grant initiative supports the
redesign of math, science and engineering courses, with the ultimate
goal of increasing the number of students graduating with high-tech
degrees. In 2006, additional consideration is being given to proposals
related to environmental engineering and “green” product design. Public
institutions interested in applying for the funds must contact HP.
The ExxonMobil Foundation announced a $270,000 contribution to the
National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME,) which
will be used to support various programs including scholarships for
minority engineering students. With this grant, ExxonMobil has provided
NACME with more than $10 million in support.
ExxonMobil's support comes at the right time according to Kaplan AEC
Education, which calls the need for talented "young" engineers in a
"critical" stage. Despite the need -- older professionals will continue
to lose out to young professionals in the youth-obsessed corporate
culture of the United States.
“The high attrition rate in college engineering programs is especially
troubling because there aren’t enough engineers to fill all of the
current openings in the United States, and there will be an even
greater need as our country and our world face new challenges and rapid
advances in technology,” said Frank Cook, co-author of 21 Things Every Future Engineer
Should Know: A Practical Guide for Students and Parents.
Cook along with author Pat Remick report that thousands of high school
seniors each year choose engineering as their college field of study,
but some 50 to 60 percent change majors before graduation.
The trend is what ExxonMobil (at least) hopes to change through its
minority scholarship program.
“We are proud of our long-standing partnership with NACME and we value
the opportunity to assist outstanding students in their pursuit of an
engineering education,” said Steve Simon, senior vice president, Exxon
Mobil Corporation, who serves as a NACME board member.
NACME, the nation’s largest private source of scholarships for minority
engineers, has provided financial support to more than 20,000 minority
engineering students since its inception.
Through its scholarship programs, NACME distributes funds to partner
colleges and universities across the country, which then award
scholarships to African American, American Indian, and Latino
engineering students in their programs. Funds are also used to assist
selected institutions in building minority enrollment and improving
“ExxonMobil’s thirty-year support of NACME has enabled us to remain at
the forefront of the national effort to increase diversity in the
country’s engineering and technology workforce,” said John Brooks
Slaughter, president and CEO, NACME. “Their consistent commitment of
time, money and energy supports our shared goal -– an engineering
graduating class that looks like America.”
Authors Cook and Remick cite statistics that show women and minorities,
in particular, are not getting the message that engineering offers a
myriad of exciting and rewarding opportunities.
“People mistakenly believe that you have to be absolutely brilliant or
maybe even a bit of a nerd to be a successful engineer,” says Remick.
“While it’s true that you need to enjoy math and science, engineering
is primarily about being creative, enjoying problem-solving and having
a desire to improve things. It is a lucrative career that doesn’t care
about gender, race, or background.”
The book reviews how to explore the various engineering disciplines,
discusses optimum curriculum paths, gives ideas on choosing the right
college engineering program and succeeding on campus, and suggests how
to find employment and advance in the workplace.
21 Things Every Future
Engineer Should Know also discusses practical advice from
students who work as intern engineers, proficiency for working in the
field, high school guidance and extracurricular activities for all ages
to optimize college preparation, college choice discussions, and
resources for students.
IT, Financial Sector Future Bright
Kforce Inc., of Tampa, FL, paints a strong economic future in the
United States for technology and suggests 9.1 million jobs will be
created during the upcoming five years, with 8.6 percent going
specifically to IT.
Security and compliance spending will drive a great deal of IT
expenditures, according to CMP Media LLC’s Dark Reading. Requirements
associated with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, The USA Patriot Act, HIPAA and
Basel II continues to drive demand for professionals with compliance
“These guides provide a detailed review of the trends shaping two
dominant fields in the U.S. economy,” said David L. Dunkel, Kforce
chairman and CEO.
“With unemployment for workers with college degrees falling to a near
record low of 1.9 percent, it’s critical for employers and candidates
alike to understand the forces that drive the marketplace.”
IT spending in the United States for 2007 is expected to be strongest
in the financial sector, consumer markets, and government.
Kforce also suggested that outsourcing is not as detrimental to the
workforce moving forward as it was in the beginning (early 2000s,) but
all of those professionals who were laid off stand no chance of getting
their same job back. New job opportunities will primarily attract
recent college grads and young professionals seeking a new
The salary trend for 2007 in IT points to a slightly higher salary, but
a drop in cash bonuses. SAP developers with skills in modules
like payroll and HR are among those getting the highest salary
premiums. Among the certified skills with the biggest salary
boosts were application development and programming languages. Among
non-certified skill areas, workers with enterprise business
applications skills got an average premium of 8 percent of base pay.
For the financial sector, of all the issues confronting the accounting
profession, staffing ranks as one of the most critical. More skilled
accountants are needed in public practices as well as government and
nonprofit organizations due in large measure to Sarbanes-Oxley
Sarbanes-Oxley contributed to a 68 percent increase in corporate
finance staffing between 2002 and 2006, according to research by
Financial Executives International and Baruch College of New York. The
impact has extended beyond public companies, with government agencies
and not-for-profit organizations, as more voluntarily abide by the
stringent accounting rules.
The demand for qualified professionals is expected to increase in 2007.
On the supply side, baby boomer retirements will exacerbate the
shortage, a situation that will not be remedied for some time, even
with the continuing increases in enrollments in college accounting
Employers are urged to step-up their internship programs to recruit new
graduates to fill vacancies. Retired professionals too offer a pool of
candidates for contract and temporary work. Retention is growing more
important Kforce reported, because 65 percent of employees planned to
look for new jobs on a rolling average.
“Improving the work environment and the perception of the company among
existing employees may yield better results than better benefits in
attracting qualified professionals,” said Dunkel. Best practices for
retaining staff include developing clear guidelines on promotional
requirements, assisting with professional education and recognizing
Easier Post Graduate Job Searching
As part of the continuing online consolidation of career websites, once
the students earn their degrees searching for a job online just became
a little easier.
Monster.com's parent Monster Worldwide secured business relationships
with a number of traditional media companies. Monster continues to
build significant momentum around its local market strategy by aligning
with the North Jersey Media Group, owner of The (Bergen) Record, Herald News and 44 weekly
newspapers, as well as the Wilkes-Barre
Times Leader (serving Northern Pennsylvania) and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin to introduce
co-branded sites featuring the company’s industry-leading products and
Monster secured similar relationships with Freedom Communications, a
leading privately owned diversified media company. The deal encompasses
36 newspapers across the United States –including The Orange County Register, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO,)
and the East Valley Tribune
(Mesa, AZ,) and Freedom’s eight television properties.
Monster's services enable media companies to hand-over the job posting
tools and cut-back in-house expenses in the face of falling
subscriptions and advertising revenue for traditional media.
“Today’s announcement marks another step forward in our localization
strategy. Monster continues to pursue small and medium-sized businesses
as one of our major areas of growth, and media alliances help us
solidify and grow our presence in the regions where these companies are
based,” said Doug Klinger, president, Monster North America. “These
alliances bring substantial value to both large and small regions as we
leverage our combined expertise in their markets across the country.”
Peter Newton, senior vice president and general manager, SMB, Monster
said, “Our first media alliance with Philadelphia Media Holdings has
yielded strong results to date, including a 25 percent increase in the
number of page views recorded on philly.com’s career page, underscoring
the synergy that is created when local expertise is coupled with our
best-in-class products and services.”
Employers in these markets can easily and cost-effectively implement
recruitment strategies utilizing the best combination of print and
online advertising. Monster also offers access to the world’s largest
resume database, which adds approximately 40,000 new resumes each day.
In addition, Monster’s hiring and talent management solutions enable
businesses to optimize the recruitment process, saving time and money.
Job seekers in these markets can take advantage of the most advanced
search and match technology, presented from a local perspective.
Career-focused content, featuring expert advice, and tools such as a
resume builder and salary center, will help give job seekers a
Newton said, “Small and medium-sized businesses present a major area of
growth for Monster. These alliances establish an immediate foothold in
key local markets, bolstering our creditability with these
employers, extending our brand in the cities and regions where they are
based and underscoring our relevance among seekers.”
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader’s
co-branded site will launch in the coming weeks. The co-branded sites
for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin
and the North Jersey Media Group will be unveiled in January 2007.
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