The National Black MBA Association® (NBMBAA®) and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) have struck a three-year strategic alliance that will provide S.T.E.M. professionals with enhanced leadership development and access to the countrys top corporations with interest in recruiting management level professionals with experience in science and technology disciplines.
The number of African Americans graduating with Masters degrees in science and technology has increased in recent years, but still pales in comparison to the graduation rates of other ethnicities, said Jesse Tyson, president & CEO, National Black MBA Association®. We are optimistic that this partnership will increase S.T.E.M. engagement among African Americans in graduate programs and will help more students and professionals in science, technology engineering, and math achieve advanced degrees and management careers.
Members of both organizations will gain access to exclusive offers including membership discounts, continuing education programs, professional development and other joint local chapter engagement initiatives.
Todays job market has shifted and many executives in science and technology fields need advanced degrees in business to secure leadership roles at top companies, said Karl W. Reid, Ed.D, executive director, National Society of Black Engineers. Our partnership with the National Black MBA Association® will reinforce our commitment to developing and grooming our members to be able to compete globally.
Here, TNJ Senior Editor Sergie Willoughby caught up with Reid to talk about the industry and the partnership.
TNJ.com: How did the industry and how the partnership came to be?
Karl Reid: In the summer of 2015, NBMBAA and NSBE were invited to a convening by the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the premier association of top African American executive talent, to help shape the strategic direction for its Community Impact grant program. The invited associations were both past and current recipients of the grant. In subsequent discussions, the two organizations determined that it would be a win-win for our respective organizations to be intentional about forging a partnership, particularly once we discovered that many NBMBAA members got their collegiate start in NSBE.
?TNJ.com: What do you hope comes out of it?
K.R.: The workforce increasingly demands 21st century business leaders who have technical skills and expertise. This partnership, which leverages the strengths and distinctiveness of each organization, works to build the diverse pipeline of technical leaders with business training, from the classroom to the C-Suite.
TNJ.com: What are the challenges that Black engineers face today? Where can the best job opportunities be found? Are there any challenges that the engineering sector faces?
K.R.: An excerpt from our NSBE 2025 White Paper states it best: The demand for engineers and equally talented workers in the broader science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields is growing. STEM jobs are projected to grow by 953,200 between 2012 and 2022, a growth rate that is 30 percent higher than that of the overall workforce. However, this demand far outstrips the forecasted supply in the United States, with a projected shortfall of one million STEM workers over the next decade. Not all Americans will benefit from this technological boom. African Americans make up only 5 percent of the science and engineering workforce and account for only 3.5 percent of all recipients of engineering degrees awarded annually, a percentage that has been in decline since 2003. Not only are African Americans earning a declining share of engineering degrees, the actual number of Black engineers the nations colleges and universities produce is also in decline. In 2014, only 3,501 engineering bachelors degrees were awarded to African Americans, down from 3,900 in 2003.
The key to success is building the pipeline of prospective engineers, beginning as early as grade school, and into and through college. At the Professional level, Black engineers thrive best in inclusive workplaces. While the focus of recent efforts has been on diversity (numerical representation), creating a cultural and climate to foster success, where African Americans can bring their whole selves into the environment is not a universal experience among Black engineers. See a recent article about the topic: (https: //jobs.newscientist. com/ article /african-americans-hired-but-do-they-stay-/)
While the greatest growth in technical sector is forecast to be in computer science and computer engineering, engineers are needed to solve growing global challenges related to food, water, energy, infrastructure, and healthcare, to name a few.
TNJ.com: In general, what is NSBE’s mission?
K.R.: The mission of the National Society of Black Engineers is “to increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.”