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Building a High-Tech Future

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Photo Credit: J. Thompson

By J. Thompson
Online Career Tips Staff

Forged from steel and cables, a towering symbol of economic hope and job renewal ascends from the barren Arizona desert and dominates the horizon for miles around. It’s the world’s largest land-based crane reaching 689 feet in height and boasting a total boom length of 740 feet, capable of lifting over 400 tons. Even more impressive than the skyscraper-tall crane is the state-of-the-art microprocessor manufacturing facility, Fab 42, which Intel is building in the City of Chandler.

Costing upwards of $5 billion, Fab 42 is currently the second largest construction project in the entire world, next only to the 2012 Olympic facilities construction project in London. With a fabrication plant so massive that it makes Mall of America feel like the size of your neighborhood 7-Eleven, Fab 42 represents what America dearly needs—jobs. Once completed in 2013, the thousands of current construction, engineering and security jobs will transition to thousands of high-paying and high-tech careers. So wide-reaching is this symbol of economic promise that even President Obama featured it as a backdrop for a recent campaign stump.

If you build it, will they come?

According to Intel’s News Backgrounder, “More than three-fourths of Intel’s revenue comes from outside the United States, yet roughly three-fourths of the company’s microprocessor manufacturing is conducted here in America.” What’s not lost on POTUS 44 is that despite Fab 42 and similar investments, the resulting jobs will only be available for highly skilled workers and especially those educated in the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math (i.e., STEM fields).

[Check out the American Public University School of Science and Technology.]

“We want tomorrow’s workers to have the skills they need for the jobs like the ones they’ll be opening up here and I have to tell you I’ve been to these plants at Intel,” the President joked, “Young people, you have better have done some math before you get in here. You can’t just kind of wander in and you didn’t do some math at school.”

Although made in jest, the President’s comments touch a nerve and expose a reality that everyone should take into consideration if they want to take advantage of high-tech careers. A quality, advanced education in mathematics, science, information technology or engineering will always be a necessity.

Long after the record-breaking crane has been disassembled and the economy is chugging along at full-steam, will you be qualified to step into plants like Fab 42 and build the brains of our next-generation computers, applications, and robots?

J. Thompson is the Vice President of the Content team at American Public University. He earned an M.F.A in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles and performed his undergraduate studies in English literature, political science and business management between the University of New Mexico and East Carolina University. His career insights draw upon experience as a communications vice president supporting learning management, applicant tracking, and talent and leadership development for Bank of America and other Fortune 500 firms.

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