Posting in Design
As innovation accelerates, automation and its masters are feeding off the corpse of the old world at an unprecedented pace.
The unemployment rate is down to 8.5 percent and the White House is trumpeting the automotive sector, but these figures still represent a failed recovery in industries that employ millions, like construction.
Yet even in the depths of our economic malaise, a handful of sectors not only failed to contract -- they never stopped creating jobs. According to the Information Technology Industry Council, which drew these numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "the tech industry continued to add jobs even as national unemployment increased sharply as the economic crisis took hold."
By the summer of 2010, as other sectors continued to limp along and a recovery seemed almost out of reach, job growth rates in research and development (i.e. science, at least as it relates to industry) and computer systems design were back to pre-crisis levels.
ITI argues that all this job creation was a result of innovation, exemplified by companies like Apple. But the real story here is that the positive jobs trend in IT and science, coupled with the negative jobs trend in other industries, was as much a product of creative destruction.
As Technology Review pointed out in a recent lengthy piece on the subject, "information technology is reducing the need for certain jobs faster than new ones are being created."
"…new research is showing that advances in workplace automation are being deployed at a faster pace than ever, making it more difficult for workers to adapt and wreaking havoc on the middle class: the clerks, accountants, and production-line workers whose tasks can increasingly be mastered by software and robots."
In the most recent recession, we can't discount the role of outsourcing, peak net energy or Wall Street's unregulated trammeling of the real economy, but it's important to realize that the faster technology transforms the world of work, manufacturing, energy, communication and all the rest, the more important it is to be one of the disruptors -- a scientist or an engineer -- than a worker in the fields being disrupted.
That doesn't mean everyone should be an engineer or a scientist, but it does mean that as new ideas reverberate through every field of human endeavor again and again, mastering technology and moving up the value chain to the point at which innovation (and disruption) happens is absolutely critical.
Jan 12, 2012
I started out in E&S 33 years ago. Sure I was guaranteed a "good job". I went into the healing arts. That was a better move at the time. Please note, if you are not computer literate and can't type today, forget a job in E&S. A few of my Science buddies are dead already due to exposure to carcinogens. The people who really make out are the salesmen, managers, and other magicians. So, if you want a good living in E&S, get out of the benchroom and into the boardroom.
So how can you get in on this expansion of the clean, mean and "green" industries? By getting a "green" job that pays handsomely, of course you need a degree from universities like High Speed Universities.
Absolutelly! One of the saddest things I have seen in this life was when NASA closed down and all those brilliant people became taxi drivers and factory workers. That was thirty plus years ago. Since then education has not kept up with the tech fields. Lawyers and real estate brokers became the sensation. We need more lawyers was the mantra back then. Engineering and science took a back step. It is also no secret that the Gov hired the best and the brightest for their own puposes. That did keep them out of the public employ where their inventions and fixes would have helped society. Emphasis became on self and now. Education languished for the sciences. It wasn't quick gain. I will say that the Internet was and is the most dramatic and influential bit of engineering I have ever thought possible. In my day, most everyone I knew wanted to be an astronaut or engineer or builder of some sort. If the country needs more engineers and techs, advertise! Advertise the benefits; the glory of watching your design get built; your help for humanity; your discovery of the NEW! Make them want to do it. (In the 50's and 60's they advertised for engineers and scientists and doctors. That's how we got so many lawyers. They advertised for them on TV. Look back in the late70's and 80's.)