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10 tips to help college tech grads enter the workforce

Summer is nearly upon us and with it for many comes graduation ceremonies. Then it's off to the realities of the workforce. If your degree is in the technology field, you're picked a great career path, but there's still lots of competition to beat out and evolving technology to master. Finding your place in a crowded tech job market means some serious planning, polishing your skill set and developing the right set of tools.

Report: College Degrees Are Not Created Equal

A college degree is worth at least $1 million throughout a career. But with some degrees – particularly those in STEM, business and health fields – the economic return is much greater. A new report from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce found the highest-paying college majors earn $3.4 million more throughout their careers than the lowest-paying majors. The center used U.S. Census data to analyze the wages of 137 college majors and found the wage disparity among majors increases over time.

More STEM education won’t protect our jobs from robots

Care to guess what is the world’s fastest growing industry? Health care? Biotech? Energy? Nope. According to a recent report, it’s robotics. And those robots are slowly but surely putting people out of work. Recent research at the University of Oxford suggests that nearly half of all jobs are at risk from automation.

Towards More Women in Technology

The dearth of women in technology has long been attributed to the pipeline problem of fewer girls in the STEM area of education. Although at the K12 level, girls are taking high level mathematics and science courses at similar rates as their male classmates, the ratio continues to remain lopsided when it comes to computer science, as shown by a survey of the Advanced Placement Exams - only 19% of girls took the computer science exam in 2011.

US tech industry needs women, must interest them at school

If computer science was mandatory in schools in the United States - as it is, for example, in Britain - girls would be more comfortable with the subject from an early age, Reynolds said. "We should be teaching (girls) that actually you can get into fashion, into film, all sorts of really cool things (with code)." The dearth of women and minorities in the tech world also creates an economic problem, he said.

Cities Must Invest in the 'Smart Jobs' Workforce

STEM-intensive occupations are expected to drive economic growth. But cities must invest in training and education to build a qualified workforce. Aerospace manufacturers were the major reason Wichita ranked near the top in a Brookings Institution report published earlier this year that identifies a set of 50 “advanced industries” likely to be key in supporting sustainable economic growth. These companies invest heavily in technology research and development while employing substantial numbers of workers with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills.

Survey: STEM Professionals Cite Real World Experience as Career Catalyst for Students

A new national survey of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals carried out by the MdBio Foundation, Inc. (MdBio) in collaboration with The Science Advisory Board® finds that the majority of STEM professionals credit real-world, hands-on experience as the most critical factor in landing a STEM job. A majority of the 523 STEM professionals surveyed said they chose to pursue a scientific career before they entered college, shedding new light on the need to develop stronger partnerships between K-12 educators and STEM employers.

Salaries for STEM jobs in decline

Though STEM-focused jobs experienced a slowdown, growing only 1 percent year-over-year, they're still near the top for wage growth. Since 2006, jobs in STEM fields have experienced growth of around 10 percent, according to the PayScale Index. Metro areas with a high concentration of STEM workers and employers also experienced wage slowdowns this quarter: San Diego and Seattle, for example, had negative growth over the last quarter (-0.6 percent and -0.1 percent, respectively), while Boston's growth remained flat and San Francisco had only a slight uptick of 0.5 percent.

Closing the Skills Gap in Automation: A Call for Action

Manufacturers are adopting more automation than ever before. For many, it’s no longer a question of whether to automate, only when and to what extent. With wages offshore rising, robot prices down and performance up, robot sales are at an all all-time high. Meanwhile, an aging workforce moves closer to retirement. Misconceptions of manufacturing as crude and demoralizing persist. Women and other minorities are still underrepresented. The skills gap is growing. Demand for automation talent outweighs supply.

Gender bias in US research funding investigated

At the request of three Congresswomen the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has launched an investigation into whether gender bias is influencing the awarding of research grants, which would be illegal under US law.There is evidence of gender disparity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) research at US universities and 4 year colleges – women hold only 35% of all tenured and tenure-track positions and 17% of full professor positions in Stem fields.

Non-STEM Fields Increasingly Require STEM Skills

“We’re observing that this term that we use, ‘STEM workforce,’ is really a nebulous term. It lacks any kind of consensus definition,” Dan Arvizu, chairman of the National Science Board and director and chief executive at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, said in a conference call Tuesday. “As science and technology have kind of permeated all corners of our economy, the distinctions between STEM and non-STEM jobs in the workplace are beginning to blur.” Download report here.

The Companies Hiring The Most Tech Talent Right Now

At the top of the list is aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin, with nearly 2,000 job openings currently posted, including Instructional Systems Designer, Aeronautical Engineer, and Network Data Communications Analyst. In second place is online marketplace Amazon, which is currently seeking a Design Technologist, Operations Manager, and Embedded Software Development Engineer.

Why America Has a Shortage of Skilled Workers

It has been at least 25 years since the alarm was sounded on skills shortages in manufacturing and the threat of retiring baby boomers. Just about everyone who follows manufacturing has known about this problem for a long time. So the question is: Why didn’t we invest in advanced skill training before it became a serious problem? The answer is money and the avoidance of training investment.

Baltimore's tech talent growth outpaces most other cities

Baltimore may not have the startup mecca reputation of Silicon Valley or Boston, but it is one of the fastest growing tech talent markets. The city’s tech talent pool grew by 42 percent between 2010 and 2013, making Baltimore one of the fastest growing tech talent markets in the country, according to a new report by CBRE, a commercial real estate brokerage.

Could Vocational Education Be the Answer to Failing High Schools?

For years, vocational education was dismissed as a path into blue-collar jobs for students who weren't going to college. But as career-training programs have become more diverse, and educators have acknowledged the benefit of practical skills-training for a wider variety of students, perceptions of vocational education are changing. Now policymakers are pointing to vocational training as a cure for what ails many American high schools.

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