An Engineering Management Investigation of Human Capital Needs
2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings
Today's technical workplace requires the presence or involvement of engineers, scientists, and technical employees with various academic preparations to solve the complex challenges faced by forward-leaning businesses. As organizations strategically position themselves to become globally competitive and sustainable, sourcing and acquiring strong technical talent is essential. Making this charge more daunting is the perceived, and in some cases real, shortage of talent. While policy makers and
... policy makers and pundits may disagree on this issue, research performed in early 2011 by Aberdeen Group's Human Capital Management division indicates that companies have realized that the ability to locate and land top talent will be one of their competitive differentiators 1 . In fact, another recent survey by ManpowerGroup stated that engineering positions were the third hardest jobs to fill for U.S. companies. Applicants' lack of appropriate skills or experience was the primary driver for the talent shortage 2 . Given this backdrop, academic institutions must ready themselves to supply organizations with the appropriate human capital necessary to design and produce innovative products and services needed to become and remain competitive in a global marketplace. To that end, one source of untapped talent lies in the Engineering Technology community. Engineers and Engineering Technologists often work side by side in the workplace performing similar, if not identical, technical functions. Unfortunately, there exist a great number of organizations that are unaware of the true technical capabilities of Engineering Technologists. The balance of this paper will discuss data collected from surveys and interviews with Engineering Managers, Human Resource Managers, and Campus Recruiters charged with sourcing and acquiring baccalaureate-level technical talent and the potential role of Engineering Technologists in meeting this need.