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Perspectives on Tech Workforce Challenges in 21st Century

  • Broadcast in Business



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Jim Treleaven discusses Perspectives on Technology Workforce Challenges in  21st Century. 
Perhaps the biggest challenge facing the US economy in the 21st century will be the persistent shortage of STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math) graduates.  As the US economy becomes increasingly dependent on innovation, technology and services, a highly skilled workforce is essential.  Even in this period of high unemployment, there is a persistent shortage of workers skilled in the STEM fields.  There are two primary causes of this shortfall.  The first is the lack of US students entering these fields in college.  The root cause of this phenomenon can be traced to issues within the K-12 educational system.  Much of this shortfall is addressed with foreign students, which leads to the 2nd cause of the shortfall.  Over 25% of the US tech workforce is foreign-born.  Well over half of the graduate degrees awarded in technology fields by US colleges & universities go to foreign nationals.  Current immigration law discourages at best and more often than not prohibits these graduates from staying in the US upon graduation.
To look at the K-12 challenge, we will talk with Matt Hancock, the Exec. Director of the Chicago Technology Academy.  The Chicago Tech Academy is a Chicago Public High School focused solely on technology & the sciences.  
To discuss the immigration policy issues we will talk with Dan Varroney, the acting CEO of TechAmerica, the leading Association advocating on behalf of the tech industry.  TechAmerica has been very influential in the passage of appropriate immigration reforms and other innovative solutions to these workforce issues.