Mastering Skills for the Modern STEM Workforce

The labor market is rapidly changing with the advancement of technology, particularly AI. Keeping talent relevant is essential, especially considering high youth unemployment rates and a global shortage of STEM professionals.

In 2018, Korn Ferry predicted a global shortage of 4.3 million tech workers by 2030, potentially costing $449.70 billion in unrealized output. This shortage could impede progress in various sectors. The World Economic Forum’s 2023 Future of Jobs Report highlights that technological advancements are driving job growth, but also creating job displacement.

André Zitzke from SAS states that the tech skills shortage is already affecting innovation and productivity. He emphasizes the need for urgent action to address this crisis by focusing on foundational education in data literacy, starting at the school level, and using tools like SAS DataFly. Events like Coding4Mandela and Teachers4DataAnalytics are essential for exposing young people to STEM careers.

Zitzke also highlights the importance of university programs like the SAS Specialization, which, combined with practical experiences like hackathons, help students gain an edge in the job market. However, reliance on university degrees may not suffice. Adesh Nathalal from SAS notes that large companies might drop degree requirements to fill vacancies faster, instead focusing on diverse certifications and practical training.

SAS recommends addressing the skills gap by:

Consolidating AI and analytics tools to increase productivity and democratize analytics.

Upskilling and cross-skilling the existing workforce, including non-technical individuals, with diverse certifications.

Creating a learning environment that encourages skill growth.

Nathalal emphasizes SAS’s role in nurturing future data scientists through programs, partnerships, and mentorship. SAS’s commitment to developing STEM skills and fostering diversity is evident in its extensive engagement with various stakeholders.

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