Advanced engineering, technology degrees needed to fill new jobs

June 25, 2014

This is an excerpt from an article published in The Post and Courier featuring Avalanche Consulting and CAEL’s Talent Strategy for Charleston.

If the Charleston area gets a green light for a comprehensive research university, it should offer doctoral programs in information technology, engineering and industrial technologies, according to a report produced by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.

The group Wednesday released the report, “Charleston Region Talent Strategy,” at a meeting at Trident Technical College. It looked at gaps that exist between the education, skills and talents of potential employees in the region, and the needs of local businesses.

According to the report, 25,000 new jobs will be created in the region in the next five years. That’s nearly seven times the growth of the previous five years. Occupational clusters expected to have the highest growth are: industrial production, computer and software, science and engineering, sales and marketing, medical and business.

Chris Engle, from Avalanche Consulting, one of the people who produced the report, said doctoral degrees in computer science and information technology especially are in demand. But there are no such degrees offered in the Lowcountry.

For instance, he said, SPAWAR employs hundreds of people with doctoral degrees in computer science. “But not one of them got their Ph.D. in Charleston.”

The chamber was a strong supporter of a bill that would have formed the University of Charleston by expanding advanced degree offerings at the College of Charleston. The bill failed to pass during the last legislative session, but supportive lawmakers have vowed to file another bill in January, at the start of the new session.

Read the full article in The Post and Courier.