HIGH Tech Hiring Challenges/The Engineer Shortage

If you are a CEO of a high tech company that depends on hiring qualified engineers for key positions involved with product development, testing and roll out, I don’t need to tell you about the hiring challenges you face. As the CEO of an early stage company recently commented when I expressed frustation over the current state of affairs involving the dearth of available /qualified engineering talent who possess permanent residency status or American citizenship—“welcome to my world, Keith”! Engineers translate product concepts and solutions into viable revenue producing products and services. Engineers create solutions that can be reproduced in a highly reliable, cost effective and profitable manner. Engineers learn the scientific method, understand immutable scientific laws and are able to effectively apply them in ways that create entirely new businesses: think Microsoft, Google, Amazon, FORD, Dow Corning, JP Morgan Bank ( yes, financial services needs engineers, too!)

Here are a few suggestions
1) Define the problem as it is exists today. If we have x # of engineering jobs in America how many American engineers do we need to get the job done?
2) Examine why the “engineer supply/demand equation” is out of balance.
3) Implement solutions that start producing and employing more American citizen engineers as soon as possible!

Why has the engineering shortage occured?
Is the “academic rigor” in top American universities somehow out of whack with the simple need of our society to produce more American citizen engineers?

Is the compensation of American engineers too low? is it too high?

Are academic institutions retaining –all the way to graduation—- a high enough percentate of students they accept into their engineering programs?

Do American companies think that it doesn’t matter that their engineering team is not composed of American citizens?

We think that America is the well spring of innovation. Our culture is highly influential around the world and our standard of living as the leading developed country is what most developing nations aspire to achieve. Our greatest innovators are often entrepreneurs who leverage their creativity through the brilliance of engineers. If we don’t have enough native trained talent might America lose its position as the leader of the free world?

What is your opinion? Please send along your comments.
All the best

PS “Happy Mother’s Day” to all you women engineers out there who are Moms, too!

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About Keith Kulper

Keith D. Kulper is the president and founder of KULPER & COMPANY, LLC an executive search consulting firm working in the area of senior level leadership for academia and corporate innovation. We are strong advocates of nurturing the linkage between academic investigation/research and corporate innovation/full commercialization of new product solutions. We specialize in attracting proven leaders who can effectively drive transformational change. The firm operates an Advisory Board that meets annually to bring together leaders from academia and corporate innovation to help drive continuous improvement of our professional practice. We are also an investor in early stage companies. We take pride in supporting the growth and development of business and engineering schools at leading universities throughout the United States.

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