Elizabeth, one of our readers, had this to say in response to our recent entry about education and workforce development issues in the aviation sector:
While I agree that the aviation industry is going to be struggling because of the lack of upcoming students, there needs to be more of an effort to recruit recent engineering graduates. I am an undergraduate student with numerous friends who have recently graduated with engineering degrees. At least half of them tell me they would love to get into the aviation field, but aviation companies are just not hiring.
If the aviation industry is indeed in dire need of young talent, why not look to these students? If they are hiring, then more needs to be done to clear up students’ misconceptions about the lack of job prospects in the aviation industry.
It would be interesting to hear what industry players have to say about this. Are short-term pressures competing against long-term needs? Are certain types of jobs available if one knows where to look?
Aviation International News has a wrap-up of the New Jersey State Aviation Forum that was held at Newark airport last month, focusing on gaps in aviation education:
“The whole aviation industry is balanced on the head of a pin,” said Mike Stoddard, president of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Coalition. “The people who made aviation what it is today are dying, retiring, and there is no replacement pool. Unless we start generating some interest in educating young people for the jobs that are available, for the sheer joy of flying, I don’t foresee anything but a bleak future for general aviation.”
We believe that this topic will escalate in importance over the next 10 years. Small, high-tech manufacturers in the U.S. already have a serious workforce development crisis. Too few students are entering engineering programs, and too few students are preparing themselves for careers in precision manufacturing. It’s unlikely that aviation will be able to unilaterally avoid the demographic and educational pressures that are looming on the horizon.