Skill Shortages in the US
One of the fundamental issues that the USA faces is the shortage of skills which stems from regional mismatch, cyclical shifts, inadequate training levels and labor market restructuring. If you are still looking and deciding on a college major, it may be worthwhile to look out for the list of skill shortages in the United States and then choose a career in a high in demand sector.
The long-term economic prosperity is likely to be impacted due to the unprecedented skill shortage that is being faced by the United States according to SHRM. There is an imbalance of demand and supply as there is a dearth of skilled workers to fill the job openings available for highly skilled workers.
According to the 2019 SHRM report, 7 million jobs were open in December 2018, but only 6.3 million people who were unemployed were looking for work. This gap does not augur well for industry or employers. It is likely to stifle growth and innovation in the coming years.
The shortage of skilled workers in recent years, especially workers with advanced degrees in STEM fields has been a pain point for employers in the recent years. The imbalance in supply and demand is in nearly every industry and now has a labour shortage. The challenge for employers is actually more in filling blue -collar positions than professional positions that require college education.
The hardest-to-find workers are no longer computer engineers. There are labour shortages for home health care aides, restaurant workers, and hotel staff. The shift is happening because more and more young Americans are going to college and taking professional jobs, after high school. There is also a “pressure” or a “culture” to measure success in terms of level of “higher education”. Many high schools in the US still look at university placement as a measure of their success, even though the student may not be ready for it or be a good fit. At the same time, working-class baby boomers are retiring en masse.
This has further increased the shortage of skilled workers in the US. In terms of long-term solutions, today, it’s time that the US education system supports technical training and positions it as a positive and top career choice for suitable young people to join the workforce.
The report also highlights that the 75% of HR professionals who face recruiting difficulty say that there is a talent shortage of skills among candidates for job openings. Some skills are more scarce than others. Generally, respondents feel that applicants lack tech skills (those associated with specific knowledge and training) more so than workplace or “soft” skills that are necessary regardless of industry or job type. The report says the top 3 missing technical skills are:
- Trade skills
- Data analysis/ data science
- Science /engineering / medical
The top 3 missing soft skills are:
- Problem-solving, critical thinking
- Negotiating in wake of complexity & ambiguity
The number of job openings and range of skills that are being demanded by corporations has increased as they fail to find suitable candidates from within the local talent pool to perform certain jobs. This opens up a wide array of options for the international student and labour market.
The skills in demand in the United States are:
- Computer Systems Analysts
- Web Developers
- Computer Network Architects
- Line Managers in Retail Sales Operations
- Software Engineers
- Accountants and Auditors
- Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
- Human Resource and Training Specialists
- Network and Computer Systems Administrators
- Industrials and Mechanical Engineers
- Sales Representative
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