When it comes to growth, economists say we need to train individuals for the modern workforce. Yet in America, lots of people don’t have the skills they need to be eligible for a fantastic job, where they would make a salary that would let them get a house and a car, and go on holidays – let alone invest in the future and help grow the industry they’re in.
If we’re training people for the work force, in what areas should we train them? Economists aren’t generally in the habit of, nor do they feel comfortable, identifying winning and losing economic sectors. But looking at employment information and assessing the findings of leading academics and other specialists in government and top consulting companies to ascertain where middle-class jobs will come from in the future, 15 well-paying tasks that are likely to grow the most between now and 2024 were identified, together with the fastest-growing (by percent). But in drawing this up, there were three significant re-occurring themes: technology, education, and training.
Tech: some jobs cannot be substituted
A much-publicized 2013 study by Oxford University researchers Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne claimed that about 47 percent of total US employment is at risk from advances in computerization, especially machine learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence. Using US Bureau of Labor Statistics data, Frey and Osborne rated 702 jobs on a scale of 0 to 100 percent for risk of displacement by emerging computer technologies. Employees in heavily blue-collar industries like manufacturing, construction involving slab cranes and frannas, transport, maintenance and repair, and farming and fisheries face the maximum risk, together with white-collar employees in sales and service.
The project categories at lowest risk, according to Frey and Osborne were: management; technology, computer, and science; education, legal, arts, and media; and, of course, health care. Core skills such as creativity, social perceptiveness, helping and caring for others, persuasion, and discussion would be the most difficult for computers to replicate.
Education: Invest in technical abilities
A report published in June 2016 from Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) demonstrated how schooling is now the line of demarcation between the haves and have nots in the USA. All but 100,000 of the 11.6 million jobs created in the US since the Great Recession went to individuals who had at least some college education, and 8.4 million (greater than 70 percent) went to employees who had earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, the report finds. Just 80,000, less than one percent, were taken by employees with high-school levels or less, as professional and managerial jobs grabbed the lion’s share of new jobs. By 2020, 65 percent of all US jobs will require postsecondary training and education.
The data appear to support the long-held perspectives of academics who have analyzed long-term labour trends and discover that changes in technology, commerce, and worldwide competition have hurt low-skilled employees’ earning power but helped people with more skills and education.
Even Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics, in Capital at the Twenty-First Century, notes the crucial role of education and instruction in exacerbating – and possibly finally mitigating – earnings inequality in the USA. Over the long term, technology and education are the decisive determinants of wage amounts. The best way to raise wages and reduce wage inequalities in the long run would be to invest in education and ability.
A modern economy is a combination of STEM, healthcare, business services, finance, and data. The path of least resistance [for a fantastic middle-class job] is STEM, business services, healthcare. In some of these instances, you need to go to graduate school. In STEM, that is where the big-earning projects are. The benefits for a technical ability are extremely high.
Training: Field of research matters
Although a college level, as well as postgraduate studies, may be required in some highly specialized fields, Carnevale states post-high-school professional certification – in, say, plumbing, low loader and crane hire operators or HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) maintenance and repair – could provide excellent opportunities for blue-collar employees, who a generation ago could go directly in their high-school graduation to the GM or Ford factory floor. Technical certificates – largely to men – are where the money is. Electricians are projected by BLS to be among the fastest-growing middle-class work in the years ahead as demand from house extension builder companies are increasing.
MIT’s David Autor, a leading authority on labour markets, points out that what people study might be as important as, if not more significant than, how much education they have. Occupations like medical paraprofessionals and skilled trades and fix people need a high-school level, but that’s a foundational credential which lets you concentrate. With a high-school level, you can get additional postsecondary training.
There has been a push for college for all. The truth is, the majority of the US workforce will not have college degrees. Even sidestepping the expense of faculty, there are no warranties for college graduates. Successful tradespeople are involved in second storey extension designs of architecturally-acclaimed buildings without having graduated with a college degree. So the degrees that prospective graduates earn have to be in areas which have market value.