The current events presentations are interesting. Today, Jon Jon told the class about the job market in the Bay Area, how thousands of people, mostly in the East Bay, lost jobs during the recession.
Personally, I don’t think most people are getting those jobs back. Not just in the East Bay, but also in here. Here’s why:
At the start of the 21st century, and even in the 90s, the world underwent a massive information technology revolution. The cell phone, the world wide web, the personal computer: they all made the world smaller. Today, a business centered in Chicago can buy raw goods from South Africa to be manufactured in Shandong and sold in the UK with minimal logistical issues and for a reasonable, often times better, price compared to local production. This makes it easier to outsource. And businesses aren’t just outsourcing factory jobs to China, where it’s cheaper to manufacture goods. They’re outsourcing white collar jobs. That’s because there are not only low-skill, low-income workers available in other countries. There are high-skill, low-income workers. The job market here in the US may not necessarily recover to pre-recession points. It could very well be outsourced to China, India, and other countries with high-skill, low-income workers.
What does this mean for us? Students can’t depend on graduating a 4-year, going into a career, and working in that profession for 40 years with the same skills. To be a participant in the job market, a person has to be dynamic and think critically, respond to changes and adapt accordingly. And more importantly, the education system has to adapt and prepare us for this new, highly competitive, extremely fluid job market.