Jobs

A High-Altitude Hack to Bridge the Skills Gap

Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union, spoke at Techonomy 2011 about why broadband access should be a universal human right. Now, Touré's United Nations agency is partnering with British Airways to look for ways to match emerging talent with new jobs in tech. The two organizations have formed the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) and launched an initiative, called "UnGrounded," that aims to identify the engineering, science, and tech skills most needed for today's job market, and create opportunities for training and talent discovery. The project will literally take off this summer when a group of CEOs, founders, and investors use an 11-hour transcontinental flight as a high-altitude hackathon, taking them from San Francisco to London, where they will present their ideas at ISD's Decide Now Act (DNA) Summit.   More

Techonomy 12 Business Global Tech Jobs Techonomy Events Video

Can the U.S. Stay Competitive?

Slow trains; second class cell service; inferior infrastructure; third-tallest buildings; fourth-rate education; 34th in infant mortality. What are we still best at? As innovation flourishes around the world, can the U.S. stay strong? How? This session seeks some answers. Read the full transcript below. Kirkpatrick: Could the next panel come up? I want to introduce […]   More

Jobs Opinion

The Real Key to Innovation: A Great Place to Work

In the echo chamber of discussion since Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer ordered her employees to end telecommuting and move back into the office, there’s been a general consensus that telecommuting may make employees happier, but it’s not always good for the company or—especially—innovation at a company.   More

Jobs Opinion

How Technology Has Failed Remote Workers

A 94-second Walter Cronkite video from 1967 has been making its way around Facebook and Twitter. Cronkite stands by a desk bristling with a half-dozen computer-ish devices and talks about the “home office of the twenty-first century.” We’ll be connected by video. It will almost match being in the office. “We may not have to go to work—work will come to us,” the newsman tells us. Well—here we are, still waiting. The home office experience doesn’t replicate the actual office experience. Like flying cars and refrigerators that order more milk on their own, the technology has so far failed to meet the vision.   More

Cities Jobs

Big Data Could Mean Big Jobs for Cleveland Area

Last year, Techonomy held a one-day conference in Detroit to tackle the issues of jobs, urban revival, and U.S. competitiveness in the global economy. While Detroit continues its road to recovery, thanks in part to a burgeoning tech startup scene nurtured by investors like Detroit Venture Partners and entrepreneurship accelerators like Bizdom, another Midwestern city afflicted by the loss of manufacturing jobs is also mounting a tech-enabled recovery. In Cleveland, Ohio, companies like Explorys, which helps healthcare systems manage and analyze their data, are helping to put the city on the map as a locus for quality jobs in the tech sector.   More

Jobs

Is Telecommuting Overrated?

The futurist Alvin Toffler predicted the rise of telecommuting, calling the home office an "electronic cottage" that could enhance family and community cohesion. A growing segment of today's workforce telecommutes—in a variety of ways and with varying frequency. But, as reported by Slate's Evgeny Morozov, research indicates that the outcomes of tech-enabled remote work arrangements are decidedly mixed. A Deloitte report about a flexible work pilot program at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management concluded that both employees and their managers had a hard time evaluating performance, and that the quality of work suffered. And while the insurance giant Aetna allows 47 percent of its employees to work from home, those workers tend to be heavier, spurring the company to hire an online personal trainer.   More

Jobs Manufacturing

Skills Don’t Pay the Bills

What is the biggest threat to jobs in American manufacturing: robots or a skills gap? Many manufacturing jobs are vanishing because of computer-driven machinery, as discussed at Techonomy 2012, and nearly as many jobs have been outsourced. Thus, the industry’s future seems to lie in a new generation of highly skilled manufacturing employees who can run the computer that runs the machine. This means they must have a basic understanding of metallurgy, physics, chemistry, pneumatics, electrical wiring, and computer code.Some say there’s a skills gap, and employees with the right training simply do not exist. But that may not be the whole problem.   More

Jobs Learning Techonomy Events

It’s Time to Find the Women in Tech

"Where are all the women?" is an irritatingly common refrain in tech circles. Plenty of executives and investors, male and female, are seeking to advance more women in technology. But how? We need to take a three-pronged approach, bolstering education, opportunity, and visibility for women in technology. Increasing the pipeline of qualified women is a first step. Improving girls' access to science, technology, engineering, and math education is vital: organizations like the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy are investing heavily in so-called STEM initiatives. Get girls interested in science and math, the thinking goes, and they grow up into women earning 33 percent more than their peers in non-STEM jobs.   More

Jobs Manufacturing Startup Culture

Turning Makers Into Middle Class Manufacturers

When you walk through TechShop just outside of Detroit, you see all sorts of contraptions and manufacturing projects—from bipedal robot legs hanging off a wooden stand to super-stretch cargo bikes that can carry big loads. Wind your way past the laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC machines—past the wood shop and the metal-bending station—and you will find a hallway hung with a half-dozen blackboards from floor to ceiling.   More

Jobs Learning

In New Program, Microsoft Engineers Teach High School Computer Science

In a new approach to fixing the computer science skill gap, Microsoft is sending its own engineers to teach in high school classrooms. Volunteers for the program commit to teaching a computer science class for a full school year for at least two hours a week.   More

Business Jobs

How Web Tools Are Redefining Employment

How work evolves in the age of the Net is a crucial question for every country, not least the U.S. The easily assembled palette of services that is evolving from suppliers like Amazon, Facebook, Salesforce, and many others gives companies and employees a new ability to employ tech quickly for business advantage. Cloud, mobile, social, and analytics can be mixed and matched increasingly by anyone. Joe McKendrick of Forbes has a thoughtful take on some of the implications for employment.   More

Jobs

Skills Gap Widening on Two Fronts, Deloitte Team Concludes

One interpretation of the skills gap is that the knowledge acquired to earn a college degree is becoming obsolete faster than ever before. But, according to research by William D. Eggers, John Hagel, and Owen Sanderson of Deloitte, workers in fields that require a college education aren't the only ones whose career opportunities are becoming harder to define. So-called blue-collar worker now also have to keep up with rapidly evolving technology, as new jobs require skills like fluency in CAD blueprints or LEED certification requirements.   More

Jobs

Skills Gap May Be Narrower than Feared

The recession has amplified discussion about the skills gap, accompanied by speculation that 21st century jobs will require college degrees and advanced skills training still inaccessible to many. This compounds worries about a growing barrier to entry into America's middle class. But, as reported by Jeff Tyler on American Public Radio's Marketplace, a study from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce concludes that there are 29 million openings for jobs that pay between $35,000 and $72,000 but don't require a bachelor's degree. The surprising finding should be welcome news in much of the country, with the possible exception of New York City, where $35,000 hardly translates into a middle-class lifestyle.   More

Business Jobs Techonomy Events

Erik Brynjolfsson Argues that Tech is Major Driver of Economic Growth

In this session from Techonomy 2011, in Tuscon, Ariz., Erik Brynjolfsson, Director of the Center for Digital Business at MIT, argues that technology is a major driver of economic growth and productivity. Any lag in productivity, he says, is due to our inability to keep up with the changes in technology. This is Brynjolfsson's argument in a debate with Tyler Cowen, an economics professor at George Mason University.   More

Finance Jobs Techonomy Events

Jim Breyer of Accel Partners on Tech Investment and Job Creation

In this session from Techonomy 2011 in Tuscon, Ariz., Jim Breyer, Partner at Accel Partners, talks about how best to invest in innovative technology, assuming job creation as a primary consideration. By investing in a platform like Etsy, Breyer says, you help create jobs and a marketplace for people all over the world.   More