Defense Companies Boost Technical Career Programs

Monday - 8/30/2010, 7:32pm EDT

An expected flood of retirements in the technology industry is leading U.S. aerospace and defense companies to step up their support for educational programs that will encourage students to pursue technical careers.

A study by Aviation Week magazine found that, among companies with more than 100,000 workers, 19 percent of employees are now at retirement age, and that the figure will jump to more than 30 percent by the end of 2012.

In reaction, companies like Raytheon are sponsoring student robotics competitions and forming partnerships with technical schools in an effort to address the expected shortage of workers trained in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The problem hits home for aerospace and defense companies especially, as many engineering jobs in the field are only open to U.S. citizens.