MAY 02, 2018 | US
BSA Releases Policy Agenda to Build Tomorrow's Workforce
To stay competitive, the United States should focus on STEM education, retraining, and high-skilled immigration
WASHINGTON – May 2, 2018 – The need for more coders is already well known: Jobs in software development, computer programming, and cybersecurity are growing faster than the US can fill them. But software jobs comprise far more than coding and programming. From the farmer who monitors crops from the touch of a tablet, to the nurse who can see and talk to a patient via video from hundreds of miles away, to the mechanic who uses advanced diagnostics tools to identify and repair car problems, software has transformed nearly every industry.
This transformation has resulted in the need for new skill sets among American workers. Both the government and the private sector have important roles to play in implementing policies that will prepare today’s workers and the next generation for the jobs software creates. To help workers transition smoothly into the workforce demands of the new digital economy, BSA | The Software Alliance has released A Policy Agenda to Build Tomorrow’s Workforce.
“Every sector of the American economy relies on software to succeed,” said Victoria Espinel, President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance. “The United States needs to strengthen its workforce to stay competitive. While we’re focused on increasing STEM education and expanding retraining for the US workforce, high-skilled immigration can also help us meet that demand and keep jobs in the country.”
BSA’s agenda offers five areas where the government and industry can work together to:
- Improve access to STEM education. Making STEM education inclusive and widely available builds interest in developing in-demand skills and helps prepare the future workforce. We should focus on transforming K-12 education, encouraging greater diversity, broadening exposure, and aligning STEM curricula to real-world demands.
- Expand workforce retraining. In addition to preparing the next generation workforce, we must ensure the current workforce has access to the skills needed as the job market evolves. We should focus on investing in mid-career training in high-demand tech skills, preparing employees for advanced manufacturing, and increasing training and reskilling to prepare veterans after military service.
- Create alternative pathways to the evolving workforce. In the new economy, technical schools, apprenticeships, boot camps, and other alternative pathways may be just as effective as traditional classrooms. We should focus on strengthening apprenticeship programs, expanding technical school education, and mainstreaming boot camps, online courses, and other models.
- Broaden access to technology. Technology enables the creation of jobs and economic growth in all industries and in all parts of the country. We should focus on achieving universal broadband access and ensuring access to technology in the classroom.
- Promote responsible immigration policy. In addition to improved education and training for the US workforce, high-skilled immigration can also help ensure these jobs – and the innovation they support – remain in the United States. We should focus on strengthening the H-1B visa program and supporting DREAMers.
“Policymakers and businesses should work together to meet the increasing demand for workers with tech skills in every economic sector,” said Espinel. “By investing in tomorrow’s workforce, we can promote economic security for millions of Americans and ensure US competitiveness in a changing global economy.”
For more information on BSA’s workforce agenda, click here.