Scientific (Employment) Method

Does the world need more science majors?

That’s what a lot of people think. And as a science major myself, the husband of a science major, and the father of three science majors (so far), I certainly believe in the utility and importance of studying science in college. It helps young people develop many important skills.

But some proposals to provide special encouragement for kids to study science seem misguided, like college-loan forgiveness or differential tuition rates. That will lead institutions to just game the system. Incentives are already out there for all to see: last year’s top-paying majors were petroleum, aerospace, and chemical engineering. The bottom-paying fields were social work, culinary arts, and child and family studies.

Sometimes an industry sees a potential talent shortage and needs to take action to encourage, recruit, and retain qualified talent. Such was the case with nuclear power 20 years ago. Nuclear power wasn’t “cool”—it was where Homer Simpson worked—and its workforce was aging. But employers worked with universities, community colleges, unions, and the military to fill find good workers. Now nuclear engineering majors are also among the highest paid grads.

Such micro-initiatives are generally much more successful than massive programs. Big plans require rigid rules that people can play with and distort to reclassify cooking into alimentary-engineering. Most of the money then gets eaten up by bureaucratic oversight.

The marketplace knows what it needs and pays accordingly. That’s the most scientific recruitment tool there is.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA

Chief Investment Officer

By |2014-01-31T11:21:16+00:00January 31st, 2014|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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