Closing the U.S. Talent Gap

Universities historically are terrible at helping kids that are coming out of college, understand the complexities of a modern technology landscape.  But what’s happened over the last ten or 12 years is we have a real significant technology gap, a labor gap in technology, that’s causing people to not understand where the opportunities are within technology.

If you look at the last recession we had, you know, at the peak, nine and half percent unemployment but within the technology sector we had 1 to 2 percent unemployment.  And we had companies all over the country trying to find technologist to help them take their innovation to the next level.  And they were unsuccessful.  So there's a talent gap somewhere that needs to be addressed.  And there’s really only three ways companies can do that today.  One is they can cross train their internal employees on some of these newer technologies that are coming out.  And that’s challenging because most of these folks are already at 115 percent capacity and is tough to take on new responsibilities.

Companies can also outsource their technology infrastructure overseas.  But today technology again means innovation.  What company really wants to outsource their innovation overseas?  You want to control your own destiny.  You want to control your own vision.

So the third and best option is creating a talent funnel here in the United States to close that gap.  And it’s really incumbent upon, not the universities, but it’s incumbent upon the private sector to help create this funnel.  And what we have done and what we encourage other corporations to do is work with technology leaders and work with universities to make sure that we create this triangular relationship.  So that when students come out the university, they’re familiar with which technologies are emerging, which technologies are hot.  And we’re allowing the students to work as internships.  We’re allowing the students to do online trainings.  An we’re allowing these students to really get their hands dirty with these technologies prior to entering the workforce.

So this funnel is started at the freshman-sophomore level in college.  And by the time they get through, they actually are well versed on what’s current in the technology landscape today.  But it’s critical that every private company in America participate in this.  The talent gap could be as wide as two million people, three million, four million over 2025.  There was a study recently by McKinsey that so that.  And we’re gonna be faced with significant challenges as a country within the technology innovation landscape if we don’t address these challenges today.

Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd


Instead of outsourcing innovation overseas we need to create a talent funnel here in the United States. If we don't act, "we’re gonna be faced with significant challenges as a country within the technology innovation landscape if we don’t address these challenges today."

Related Articles
Keep reading Show less

Five foods that increase your psychological well-being

These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.

Mind & Brain

We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.

Keep reading Show less

For the 99%, the lines are getting blurry

Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.

What is the middle class now, anyway? (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs

For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.

Keep reading Show less