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Job Skills and Job Opening Mismatch: What’s Your Major?


Marilyn Geewax, NPR’s Senior Business Editor, stated today on a TV news program that 30% of our unemployment today was due to a skills mismatch with available job openings. This mismatch, and the void of job training (or pursuit of that training), are key issues today.

In my specific industry view as a technical recruiter focused heavily on software development, I am always surprised by how few of U.S. students seriously pursue computer science as a major: Especially women, as CS is such a great salary equalizer. You cannot fake passion for CS, but if you have not explored it as an option, you may be seriously selling yourself short!

I can place a CS major, straight out of school with a bachelor’s degree from a top school in CS (Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, Cornell, UCLA, USC, CalTech, Columbia, Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, etc.), in a job starting between $80k and 90k (sometimes more) with full benefits. Much of my day recruiting for senior engineers is spent talking with people from India, China, Russia, and other countries who have known this for a while and are happy to fill the demand here in California and other US states. Silicon Valley is now one of the greatest melting pots of people and ideas you will ever see.

There are plenty of kids playing on ipods, pocketing Android phones, gaming, doing homework assignments on GoogleDocs, using search engines for school research projects, Skyping with their friends, etc. How about learning some Objective-C, Java, Android programming, UI development, Lucene, and other technologies underlying all of those great things?

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