In the history of business and manufacturing, automation has become commonplace. In many ways, people have been replaced by machines in the manufacturing, retail, restaurant, and corporate settings. At the same time, opportunities have arisen for employees who specialize in programming, engineering, and maintenance of machines in all areas of commerce and industry.
Kamau Bobb is senior director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech. In this column, Bobb cites the lack of students of color in STEM majors, a failure that he believes ought to be on everyone’s mind as Atlanta pursues Amazon’s second headquarters. He contends the plan to lure Amazon here must consider how Georgia can democratize computing so STEM opportunities are open to all students.
President Donald Trump’s $200 billion infrastructure plan lacks specifics but the promise of “gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways and waterways” across America would certainly spur growth for those who work in construction.
In December of 2017, the U.S. economy added 148,000 new jobs, closing the year out with 2.1 million more employees on the payroll. Healthy job gains, however, mask the fact that filling vacancies for high-skilled specialists like radiologists and engineers is still rather difficult. Solving these bottlenecks can help boost labor productivity and compensation going forward.
Robots have transformed industrial manufacturing, and now they are being rolled out for food production and restaurant kitchens. Already, artificial intelligence (AI) machines can do many tasks where learning and judgment is required, including self-driving cars, insurance assessment, stock trading, accounting, HR and many tasks in healthcare. So are we approaching a jobless future, or will new jobs replace the ones that are lost?
Over 250 of America’s leading innovative companies will descend on Capitol Hill next week. These “suppliers” for the Space Launch System Rocket and Orion Spacecraft U.S. exploration programs will highlight how their work is helping drive U.S. innovation, creating thousands of high paying/hi tech jobs, and attracting the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics talent.
The race to win Amazon’s search for a second headquarters just ticked over into Phase Two. For many, like my hometown of Philadelphia, it brings with it an exciting validation and kicks off a new round of exuberant pitching. But for others, it’s a kick of a different kind -- and one that might prompt some collective soul searching.
Our future depends on our young people’s ability to face novelty and complexity, and to work together to create a better world for themselves and the next generation they leave behind. They will face challenges in jobs we have yet to envision and work alongside more intelligent machines than Orwell could have imagined.
Today, the National Science Board (NSB, Board) released its policy companion statement to Science and Engineering Indicators 2018, “Our nation’s future competitiveness relies on building a STEM-capable U.S. workforce.” The statement underscores the Board’s view that growing the nation’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce is critical for our economy and global competitiveness.
Employers in every sector have emphasized the need for a well-rounded, highly skilled workforce. Recent survey data indicates that over 90% of business leaders think American workers are not as skilled as they need to be. According to the Business Roundtable, CEOs around the country have noticed a particular gap in “employability skills” such as effective communication, critical thinking,teamwork, and problem-solving.