Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fastest growing occupations in the U.S. require no degree

'Zip-code apartheid' 
Edward Luce, writing in the Financial Times, reports on the changing face of the U.S. labor market. With the virtual decimation of our manufacturing sector and the flight of capital to emerging markets in the developing countries, a growing share of whatever jobs our economy is still managing to create is in the least productive areas -- the types that neither computers nor China have yet found a way of eliminating. 
 Of the five occupations forecast by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to be the fastest growing between now and 2018, none requires a degree. These are registered nurses, “home health aides”, customer service representatives, food preparation workers and “personal home care aides”.
 "The food preparation industry cannot sustain a middle class,” says Dan DiMicco, chief executive of Nucor, one of America’s two remaining big steel companies, whose company motto is “a nation that builds and makes things”.

What does all this have to do with schooling in the Ownership Society? If you look at schooling mainly in the light of the U.S. trying to maintain or regain its position atop the global economy, things look bleak. Luce writes that U.S. education and training budgets have gone in the wrong direction in the past few years. State schools and vocational community colleges derive much of their funding from local property taxes. That model brings two big disadvantages. First, it means community colleges are victims of “zip code apartheid” – the lower the property values in an area, the less money there is to train the workforce or educate the children.
“Every American is going to have to get used to the idea of a completely different work style,” says Mr Camden, whose company farms out hundreds of thousands of temporary workers around the world, from lawyers to office assistants. “What you learnt in college five years ago may already be obsolete.”
Actually, what I learned, what we all should be learning  -- how to think critically -- will never be obsolete.

No comments:

Post a Comment