Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Where will the jobs come from?

Since the industrial revolution we've faced this challenge every few generations. Technological progress makes many jobs obsolete and it makes people worry about what jobs will be available tomorrow. Marx first identified this problem with capitalism, later coined Creative Destruction by Schumpeter. Understandably the transition can be painful for many people but each time we have emerged a stronger and wealthier world. To some extent the government can help ease the transition through forms of social insurance but I believe the bigger problem is debt. When we (the western world) have a total debt 3 to 4 times our annual income it becomes very difficult to adapt to these shocks. We're stuck in our jobs because we're stuck in our debt and consequently we start to resist progress.But whether we welcome it or not, the world will change. I don't know what kind of jobs will be common 30 years from now but I believe many of them don't even exist today.

Here is one opinion of what the labor market will look like in the future:

To summarize, the best situation for the next couple of decades is "to be a hot engineer who can write well and get along with other people." Alex, I think you just described my perfect woman.

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