Where Will The Jobs Be? – I Keep Wondering…

If you read the news, if you pay attention to the changes in society, if you keep up with what’s happening, you know that we really do have a few very different worlds out there – maybe more pronounced than ever before.

I’m speaking especially about the world of jobs, and the search for jobs.  For example, for the college graduates, especially the new college graduates, the news is a little on the grim side.  That Bachelor’s Degree, which feels so valuable because of all the work that went into earning it, is simply not quite enough.  Not anymore.  In the article The Master’s as the New Bachelor’s by Laura Pappano (N Y Times), here are the warnings:

Browse professional job listings and it’s “bachelor’s required, master’s preferred.”
Colleges are turning out more graduates than the market can bear, and a master’s is essential for job seekers to stand out — that, or a diploma from an elite undergraduate college, says Richard K. Vedder, professor of economics at Ohio University and director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.

And the article begins this way:

William Klein’s story may sound familiar to his fellow graduates. After earning his bachelor’s in history from the College at Brockport, he found himself living in his parents’ Buffalo home, working the same $7.25-an-hour waiter job he had in high school.

The article is worth reading, as she delineates the specific “new” functions/purposes of a modern Master’s Degree.

But, at the other end of the spectrum, we find this:  the national high school graduation rate is right at 71%.  That means that for every 100 people hitting age 19 or so, 29 of them have not even graduated from high school.  (And most of these never will graduate from high school, and will certainly not graduate form college).

So, to put this in perspective:

• the people who used to get the jobs that were available with a Bachelor’s Degree now need a Master’s Degree.
• thus, the people with a Bachelor’s Degree now work at jobs that used to be filled by people who only graduated (or did not even graduate) from high school.
• Thus, the people who only graduated from high school (or did not even graduate from high school) will work…where?

There are many who say “jobs, jobs, jobs; this should be the concern of our political leaders.”  Yes, it should.  But, the question that I worry about is this:  where will people work — especially those who have dropped out of high school?

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