Staff Report, Middle Georgia CEO

Randstad US released the U.S. data from the global quarterly Randstad Workmonitor survey for Q2 2019. According to the survey, if U.S. employees could go back in time to age 18, 68 percent say they would focus on a field of study within science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). This sentiment is indicative of the perceived high value of a STEM education and career path over other educational tracks. In fact, 60 percent believe their employer has trouble finding the right workers for these roles today.

“Employees understand the value of STEM talent today; they see their employers on the hunt for that talent and how in demand STEM skills are in the modern workforce,” said Graig Paglieri, group president, Randstad Technologies and Engineering. “The survey findings don’t necessarily mean people in non-STEM roles have career regret or think their jobs will be taken over by automation and robots. However, it’s clear most people think having at least some formal STEM education continues to be valuable in today’s job climate.”

U.S. employees aren’t nervous about digitalization, but more preparation is needed.

Seventy-nine percent feel equipped to deal with digitalization in their job.

Only 27 percent expect their job to be automated in the next five to 10 years, making Americans seemingly more optimistic than most of their global counterparts (across 33 countries, 35% of workers feel this way).

Sixty-two percent say their employers should invest more in developing digital skills.

Nearly half of employees (49%) say they are investing in themselves by learning about artificial intelligence (e.g., machine learning because their companies don’t provide training).

U.S. employees acknowledge finding and recruiting the right talent is, and will continue to be, a hurdle for employers.

Nearly half (47%) say their employers have an increasing need for STEM talent.

Fifty-eight percent think it will be increasingly difficult for their employers to find the right talent in the future.

“Formal education aside, employers who proactively provide upskilling opportunities to their employees will be at a greater advantage long-term than those who do not — honing STEM talent from within can be a great way to close the skills gap many organizations feel right now,” said Paglieri.