Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Mythical STEM Shortage

Long ago, there were Personnel Managers.  Nowadays, there are Human Resource Managers.  As an engineer or scientist, you are a consumable resource, just like oil and electricity.  You are used to make a project work and once the project is done, you are not needed anymore and you will be laid off.  

In my experience, there is a perpetual over supply of engineers and scientists and roughly 10% to 15% of engineers are always unemployed or underemployed.  However, there is a huge shortage of Entrepreneurs.

Jobs are created by small businesses - large businesses destroy jobs.

Large businesses buy small businesses, absorb them, take the good products, discard the bad ones, fire half the people in the first round, and the rest in the second round.  This is known as increasing productivity.

For example Intel, Microsoft, Cobham, IBM, Yahoo, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, United Technologies - they buy companies and then frack them and shake the employees out.  The result is a constant clamor from thousands of middle aged engineers and scientists complaining that they cannot find work.

However, for the younger 20-something crowd, the situation is much worse and their unemployment rate varies from 25% to 50%!

In a capitalist system, the over 45 crowd are supposed to provide jobs for the under 25 crowd and that can only happen if the large businesses light a fire under them and force them to start their own businesses.

If you are an unemployed or underemployed STEM, then you can do one of two things: Go look for a job in a tough and desolate place where others are scared to go, or find an unemployed salesman and an unemployed MBA and start a company. 

Engineers and scientists are typically NOT good at sales and management.  Don't try to do it yourself, you will waste your own money and you will fail.  Your job is to innovate.  Get others to sell the junk you make and schmooze the bank manager. 

When a reporter asked Sutton why he robbed banks, he replied: 'Because that is where the money is'.  Apparently O'l Willy had a MBA.

So, since I already took the only job in the desert - you have to get off your chair, go start a company with two compatriots and hire five unemployed 20-somethings to do the work!



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