Are Tech Companies Killing the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg?

Posted by David Schilling on Feb 8, 2019 1:03:35 PM
David Schilling

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Due to the war over top technical talent and a shortage of qualified candidates companies like Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and CISCO have turned to hiring tenured professors and graduate students with six-figure incomes and the opportunity to do research with endless funding.

The problem is that over time, big tech giants may leave the cupboards bare at top academic institutions in the US and overseas. Once the most talented professors, grad and doctoral students are working in high-tech companies, who will teach the next generation of top technical talent?

This has brought about a "Wheel of Fortune" predicament where companies who now need top technical talent are able to get it but the future may offer lean pickings. As is so often the case in life the most powerful companies have accumulated a great amount of assets that can be used to poach talent near and far. Smaller companies with smaller budgets are being left in the dust. The same goes for academic institutions. Those with large endowments will be able to hire better talent than those with little or no endowments.

Seldom does the movement of top talent from colleges to companies reverse. Once professors have tasted a six-figure income and an unlimited budget, teaching in schools with limited resources is a nonstarter. 

This leaves less prominent universities and colleges to recruit local retired business people with decades of industry experience as adjunct professors and full-time faculty. One other approach is to hire local executives to work part time as instructors.

In the end, industry associations and governments need to plan ahead and invest wisely to make sure there are enough professors to teach for generations to come. Short of that, inefficient labor markets will drag on those countries who haven't planned for a rainy day.

Topics: war for talent, tech companies, employment, labor shortage