Emphasis on STEM Education and Skill Development Needed
If you watch television, you’ve probably seen the public service announcement for Verizon’s #WeNeedMore campaign, in which LeBron James and other high-profile celebrities advise kids to pursue careers in STEM instead of highly competitive, less practical pursuits like pro sports or modeling. Over the past decade or so, “nerdy” has slowly become the new “cool.” We idolize more and more visionary developers, techies, and researchers, while science activists like Bill Nye and Neil DeGrasse Tyson draw attention to the importance of STEM. Even Food Network hosts like Alton Brown see great success when they emphasize the science of cooking, baking, and nutrition.
We use products containing materials, like the ones developed my Shin-Etsu MicroSi, every day. Science and technology are all around us, and it’s up to educators and parents to engage students in learning more about how things work.
Factory Work is No Longer “Dirty Work”
Not only do STEM jobs pay well; these days, skilled factory workers can wear white lab coats and not end up looking like a Victorian chimney sweep by the end of the day. Manufacturing environments are safer and cleaner than the dirty factories of the mid-20th century.
Highly Skilled Workers Needed in Automated Environments
Thanks to automation, manufacturing work is also less tedious than it was in the mid-20th century. Simple, repetitive tasks completed by robots may displace some factory floor workers, but we now need engineers to work alongside the robots and other advanced machines. Companies can pour resources into higher level research and development jobs as well. Understanding the new composition of the STEM workforce has led many companies to offer on-the-job training in order to attract younger workers and people who need to change careers in order to keep up with the industry.
The STEM Gender Gap is Real
The gender gap persists in STEM fields for a number of reasons. We cannot change biology, but society needs to change in order to engage girls in STEM from an early age. This encouragement needs to continue through higher education, job training, and career development. According to Paysa, 50% of Shin-Etsu Microsi employees who disclosed their gender are male and 29% are female; the remaining 21% are undisclosed. The most important qualifications we bring to our jobs are, of course, our knowledge and skills. Yet women represent more than half of the general population, and ignoring so much of the work force can only be to society’s detriment.
Learn more about exciting careers at Shin-Etsu MicroSi, from administrative and customer service jobs to technical fields. You can also read more about trends in semiconductor workforce development at the electroiq blog.