Where Have All the STEM Grads Gone?

Group of happy young graduates throwing hatsBy Laurie Bradley

We’ve all heard of the STEM shortage — but with growing numbers of men and woman graduating with STEM degrees, shouldn’t the problem go away? Unfortunately, that is not the case. Even as the popularity of STEM degrees increases, there are still several problems that are still causing a lack of talent in STEM occupations.

Where have all the graduates gone?

Graduates with STEM degrees have some of the lowest unemployment rates compared to all other fields of study. But according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 74% of graduates with a bachelor’s degree in science, technology, engineering, and math are not employed in STEM occupations.

So where are these skilled individuals going instead? Virtually every industry and occupation has some need for STEM skills. Because of this, graduates often go into general positions that are not specific to their skill sets. For example, a statistics major might find him- or herself analyzing data and finding trends for a marketing company. This trend leaves a skills gap in many industries that require specific talent and abilities — in particular computer science and engineering.

Another problem the industry is facing is that highly talented foreign-born STEM graduates are returning to their home countries after graduation, either because they accept jobs there or because of the difficulties involved in getting a visa that will allow them to stay in the U.S. for work. While the H-1B temporary worker program offers a viable solution, global competition still makes it difficult to keep international employees in the U.S.

Meeting the need for talent

STEM graduates are out there — but without help, your company might find itself interviewing or even hiring under-qualified applicants or letting positions go unfilled for extended periods of time.

That’s why creating an attractive brand is essential for attracting this talented workforce. Excellent business strategies, smart public relations, and highly-focused marketing can present your company in the right light for potential new employees.

Offering internships at your company is another excellent way to find skilled applicants. Businesses that invest in internship programs find this a worthwhile activity as it gives them access to graduates ahead of other potential employers. They are also sure to have the skills and hands-on experiences you are looking for because you have contributed to their education!

You also need a way to directly access top STEM workers. Working with a recruiter gives you the ability to narrow down candidates to those who truly have the STEM skills necessary to fill any open positions your business may have.

The right talent is out there! With the right strategies and the right partner to connect you with qualified applicants, you can support your business with skilled, qualified workers.

Want to hire more qualified employees? Let ASG Renaissance help! Contact Laurie Bradley by email or at 800-238-0890.