For some time now, U.S. economists have concurred that the United States is in an innovation slump. We have fallen behind other countries in several technological fields, especially drug research and software development.
The compensation in fields that require innovation is often significantly higher than compensation in other fields. Despite this, fewer students in the states have been choosing to study science, technology, engineering and math.
According to the recently released PriceWaterhouseCoopers Private Company Trendsetter Barometer, this innovation slump is apparent and will impact hiring decisions over the next two years.
Seventy-nine percent of companies surveyed said that they plan to hire new talent during this period, and 51 percent of CEOs surveyed indicated that they need to fill certain skill gaps over the next two years to meet their company's objectives. The largest skill gaps identified were in middle management (53 percent) and skilled labor (48 percent).
The survey points out some key functional skills, in the science and technology arena, which have a high potential for aggressive hiring:
- Information technology: 30 percent of companies surveyed plan on hiring technology professionals.
- Engineering/design: 25 percent of survey respondents claim they will hire engineers.
Additional areas that reported a skills gap and are likely to experience future growth include:
- Marketing and sales: 52 percent of companies surveyed claim they will be hiring candidates with either sales or marketing skills. In addition, 11 percent reported that they will need to hire individuals with international marketing experience in the near future.
- Financial/bookkeeping: 28 percent of firms reported a skills gap in finance and plan on hiring in the near future.
- Clerical workers: 25 percent of companies identified clerical skills as a skills gap and have plans to hire in this area.
- Manufacturing: 19 percent of firms with a skill gap will need to hire employees with manufacturing skills.
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