Dilbert in Demand: Chronic Shortage of Middle Managers Expected

Every day brings more insights into an impending talent shortage in the U.S. and Europe.  Even in global hot spots like India and China, salaries are increasing at a dizzying pace, even in pharma, as it becomes harder to find people with the exact mix of skills, experience and training. The Financial Times describes the situation as a "bidding war," resulting in "crazy salaries." For more read on. The Economist published a great article on this subject a while ago (click here to read) while Duke University and Booz Allen Hamilton just released a report on outsourcing and offshoring analyzing the issue. The reasons are three-fold, explains Duke University Professor Arie Lewin, director of Duke's Center for International Business Education and Research:
  • Fewer Americans and Europeans are pursuing engineering and science careers (and more students returning home after finishing U.S. degrees)
  • The number of retiring workers exceeds that of available entry-level employees Fewer students are graduating from high school with enough math and science skills.
This isn't only true in the U.S. but in Europe, outside of the Scandinavian countries, Professor Lewin says, where birthrates are low and aging and entry-worker populations are in balance, and where homogenous and rigorous educational standards have been established for engineering and science. We'll be looking at how all this is affecting pharma in our next issue. But enought about the top strata. This shortage is creeping down to mid-management level.  A survey of corporate managers by Bersin & Associates found that most companies expect a major crunch . Here's an article discussing the issue in Management-Issues.com.