Anyone that has read “Race Against the Machine,” a book that renewed the debate about the relationship between the pace of automation and job growth, might think that the pace of automation is accelerating so fast, that they might wonder where or how their kid’s future might be shared with robotics in the work force.
Not that all these jobs would be dream jobs for kids in the future, but if I had a heart to heart talk with today’s “youth”about what they want to do when they grow up, I would ask them to reconsider or shy away from older jobs and focus on newer ones. Everybody knows automating jobs is steadily increasing.
Travel Agents seek employment elsewhere because of Priceline.com. Accountants weren’t too thrilled when Turbo Tax came out. Customer Service jobs, receptionists and admins were replaced with voice automation. Even poor, struggling writers now have to compete with software automation too. http://narrativescience.com/ http://automatedinsights.com/
So is automation bad for humans? If automation significantly reduces the amount of work there is to go around, ( tedious or not) could it lead to fundamental, economic problems? Fewer high-paying jobs? Lower consumer spending? “We may automate ourselves into a recession,” says Matt Beane, MIT researcher. He calls it the Avatar Economy. http://www.technologyreview.com/news/428434/the-avatar-economy/
It seems that college tuition is at an all time high and way too overpriced for what you get. And most of the classes offered might seem irrelevant to the average person who is grateful to find job stability and will need to compete with a robot.
I wouldn’t be surprised that colleges will eventually be forced to decrease in tuition. …one day. Who would pay 125k to gamble on a 50/50 chance of being unemployed. Instead of high school guidance counselors introducing colleges and traditional careers, they may have to come up with better approaches. Getting or qualifying college funding isn’t the problem. It’s NOT turning down all that easy college money, that is. It’s just like the sub prime mortgage bubble. Lots of cash readily available, that’s inflating college tuition.
Eventually colleges will be competing with companies that showcase more “up to date,” relevant, education/training programs to recruit and add to their workforce. They are matching the training to the types of jobs that have growing demand. The average student studying English Literature or Psychology might drop out for a more competitive, challenging career, even though they may start at the bottom. But, at least they will be debt free and more dynamic. Maybe they will be competing with robots, or using workforce automation software. Instead of being replaced, they might be in charge of management, maintenance, best practices or troubleshooting. http://www.refinery29.com/2013/06/48864/google-jobs-without-college-degree
If I were the travel agents, accountants, receptionist, writers or retail workers of the world, I would invest in the time to learn more about these companies that do not require a degree. And simply start over. Or, for a son or daughter that isn’t getting the right value from college. Is it a bubble or a scandal? Either way, maybe there will be a shift as to how we become “job ready.” Here’s a thought….
If all the rich, robot, automation technology companies take over 90% of the workforce of other companies, won’t those rich, robot, automation technology companies still need to hire more real people? Who would they hire? What would they need us for? If corporations increases in productivity and increase in profits, where would humans be most valued? With all this automation, what would you tell your kids to pursue? Do you think smaller, innovative companies will outpace the traditional college with better and more relevant learning? Do you think our unemployment rate will be a true, accurate reflection of increasing job automation?