Again, I am hearing the grumblings of the "bootstrapping" crowd in this post. Other than blind luck, in a niche business venture, this strategy
doesn't work anymore.
Keeping up with the basics in terms of education and on-the-job work skills won’t be enough, for jobs requiring future-tech, contemporary labor
market, skill-sets. The poor and even the middle class (not the upper middle class) will simply NOT be able to keep up with the skill demands for
future employment, which will include REQUIRED CERTIFICATIONS, STATE LICENSING, etc. The lower class laborers will still needs to earn wages, pay
mandatory education/licensing fees out of pocket AND keep a roof over their heads ALL at the same time. In the VERY NEAR future, these very high costs
skills that will be needed to stay “relevant” in ALL labor markets, will only be affordable to the rich, or possibly, to a VERY few, forward
thinking, middle class families, willing to sacrifice everything they have financially, while pooling resources, to keep their offspring competitive,
in the larger job market.
I will begin with the usual assertion I hear in regards to the impact of these, soon to be real, “future-tech jobs", which contrary to beliefs of
some, includes the trades and accompanying "proprietary tech" that will not be repairable, only "replaceable by a certified/licensed tech".
“Someone has to get paid to fix the robots!”
I often hear this above noted rebuttal to mass automation and current labor cutting measure in the modern workplace, BUT it misses a subtle point that
ONLY the children of the wealthy will have the opportunity to become TRUE experts in such fields. Let me clarify, through the prior 20th century, a
poor kid who studied hard could become a lawyer, accountant, even a doctor sometimes, with the right combination of hard work, savings, scholarships,
family support, etc. or the lower classes simply went directly into the trades, learning on the job, WITH PAY. HOWEVER, in current engineering and
technician curriculum’s today, times have changed, to favor kids whom have had access to expensive software and hardware to “experiment” with
and free-time to “practice” on before entering college or into their chosen training program. So, when these kids finally get to college or into
their apprenticeships, those whom have had lots of "free time" to “play” with robotics and programming, outside of class, WILL CERTAINLY outpace
their less privileged peer who had to flip burgers, part-time, to pay rent and school expenses.
Before 1990, 40% of teenagers had part-time jobs while in school. This is a relevant statistic because today only 20% of teenagers in school have
part-time jobs. Teens at one time made up a sizable portion of the workforce and such changes in employment practices have shifted away from this,
meaning, poor kids do not have any opportunity to build jobs skills of any kind, before, during and after college.
Although not my primary point, I do think there is plenty of evidence that lower class teens today, not only, do not have the opportunity to get
part-time jobs, but in addition the wealthy kids are beginning to develop advanced skill-sets, that COULD be MORE helpful in their future adult
careers, than say, “working at a taco stand after school”. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are very good, EARLY, examples of people who made use of
their free time and access to money, without the need to labor for part-time pay. During that free time they develop specialized skills that could not
have been learned at a MINDLESS part-time job or even in formal schooling. In the end, they leveraged free time learning and access to tech, due to
having wealthy parents, into long term careers.
Here is a modern example of a company with a big contract to fill and absolutely "no will" to increase wages to attract experienced personnel, nor the
desire to train inexperienced ones on the job, while paid. Instead they put out a story on the web bellyaching
In the link below this paragraph, I have posted an example of what I believe to be a young person, from a well off family, who majored in robotics at
USC. She doesn’t appear to have had any unrelated part-time job, in relation to her major, while in college. She also seem to have had access to
technology, to experiment and PLAY with, in her spare time. She earned her masters & bachelors back-to-back AND at the end of college, got a job
offer at a University sponsored dinner party for robotics majors. NOBODY I went to college with, EVER, got a job offer at a university sponsored
dinner party. In contrast, I’m sure many Ivy league and top 10 school graduates do get job offers at university sponsored dinner parties. My point
being, these future “robot repair jobs” are going to require smart kids, with desire to advance, whom also went to good schools, had lots of spare
time and money to play with the tech outside of school AND get their jobs offered at dinner parties, some of which will be non-paying internships at
first. These job offers will not be gained through sending out blind jobs applications through Linkedin or company job boards, as has been done up
until now. Basically what this girl is doing for Disney will, in the near future, be more like what a plumber or electrician does today, EXCEPT you
won’t get trained on the job, in a low-pay apprenticeship, when at “entry level”. In fact to even be considered for these “future-tech jobs”
in the first place you’ll need to have good academic pedigree, lots of unpaid hobby experience and 1+ years of unpaid internships. Can kids outside
of the upper middle class do the same thing as this young woman? I think not!
Here is her story, readers can decide for themselves, my opinion is that this is what careers in the trades are going to look like in 15+ years:
Those whom are going to be rendered jobless by automation/robotics/tech are going to be the least likely to be able to pick up these pieces, in the
coming era of traditional jobs destruction. Its going to IMPOSSIBLE for the poor to go back to school and get a masters degree in robotics, in
full-time only engineering programs. Contrary to belief these programs strongly discourage their admitted students from taking part-time jobs, while
favoring students who have both the money and free time, whom have NEVER work at an unrelated job to their majors and also buy expensive robotics
hardware/software to experiment with outside of class.
Mark my words the future labor market in the pursuit of “maintaining robots or other tech” is going to be the sole domain of rich kids, with
advanced degrees from good schools because NO ONE is going to train anyone else perceived as lesser, in that kind of job, WITH PAY.
To continue my above point, I believe “rich kid” job mobility is going to be a bigger problem for regular folks, beyond what the previous "rich
kid" pedigree typically bought in the 20th century. Their unfettered access to endless money and time, to “explore” academics and hands-on work,
with no consequences, is going to END job mobility of any kind for the lower and middle classes; even for those whom have met the typical required
higher education and work experience standards. Its a superstar only job market now, with no room for middle of road folks.