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Peering Into the Future: Jobs, Students, Co-op. American Society for Engineering Education San Antonio, Texas January 27, 2006 Dr. Phil Gardner Michigan State University. Today. Context U.S. Global Job Market Active – yet changed Hiring Situation Being Strategic.

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Peering into the future jobs students co op l.jpg

Peering Into the Future: Jobs, Students, Co-op

American Society for Engineering Education

San Antonio, Texas

January 27, 2006

Dr. Phil Gardner

Michigan State University

Today l.jpg

  • Context

    • U.S.

    • Global

  • Job Market

    • Active – yet changed

    • Hiring Situation

    • Being Strategic

Today economy l.jpg

U.S. Lulled Complacency



No savings

No homes to refinance


43% 1st time no down payment


Lots of $ not putting it anywhere

Global Imbalance

Account Deficits


Role of $

Risky Investments

No risk attitude

Rising Oil Prices

Wild cards


“The Flu”

Trade War

Today: Economy

Today s job market l.jpg
Today’s Job Market

  • Active -- but different

    • Manufacturing out – retail/service in

    • Engineering Hiring

      • Manufacturing: Food, Chemical/Plastics, some Electronics, Construction, Transportation (railroads, aerospace), paper/glass, maybe utilities

      • Consulting – civil and environmental, general, services

    • Strategic

      • Internships/co-ops key tool

      • Waning days of co-op

    • How many jobs?

Near future l.jpg
Near Future

  • Economic – the issues

    • Deficit pressure – inflation

    • Consumer Spending –anything in your wallet

    • Technology – productivity nexus

    • Cost of doing business

      • Interest rates

      • Energy prices

      • Health care costs

    • Entitlements: Public (social security and Medicare) and private (pensions and health)

Near future6 l.jpg
Near Future

  • Labor

    • Retirement: Fact of Fiction

    • Global: double the labor pool –India, China, Costa Rica, Ireland, Israel

    • Strategic and disposable

    • Rise of the new blue color – the technologist

Future l.jpg

  • Totally Global – Totally Knowledge

  • Pushing to the ends of the curve

  • Emerging Sectors

  • Shortage of Engineers and Scientists

    • Train them for Me

    • Only a few good minds

Students l.jpg

  • Who are they?

    • Millennials of course

      • Ambitious but directionless

  • What do they bring to the table?

    • Obedient, conventional, demanding attitude

  • Issues

    • Parents

    • Do I have to work?

Characteristics l.jpg












Lack social skills

Fear failure


Conform – fragmented

Math adverse; low pers.

Science adverse, too


Lack creativity

Tattoos, body piercing

Not confident (only 24%)


There is a catch l.jpg
There Is A Catch

  • Have You Met Their Parents

The Soccer Moms have arrived on-campus

Challenges in educating millennials l.jpg
Challenges in Educating Millennials

  • Saturated Self

  • Literacy

    • Orality

    • Literacy

    • Electracy

  • Choice: A Paradox (see Schwartz)

    • Overwhelmed

    • Checklist

    • No integration

Do i really have to work l.jpg
Do I Really Have to Work?

  • Finding self –

    • Continued search for identity – until 28 or 29

  • Living With Parents

  • Truly self-absorbed

  • Optimistic a job awaits them or go back for a graduate degree

What do employers think l.jpg
What Do Employers’ Think

  • Not ready to work

  • Very naïve

  • Unable to delay gratification and think long term

  • Lack of persistence when faced with setbacks

  • Expect adult relationships but difficult maintaining them

  • Want individual accommodation

Colleges and universities l.jpg
Colleges and Universities

  • Employer of the Choice

    • Teach them to learn

    • Teach them to work

    • Hire them

  • Entrepreneurial Campus

  • Quick and Agile

    • Tenure (Remember GM is a dinosaur)

    • Teaching Delivery

  • Learning in Context

    • Revitalizing Co-op

    • Not just an employment option