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Excerpts on the Impact of Technology on Jobs from Future Jobs: Solving the Employment and Skills Crisis

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Excerpts on the Impact of Technology on Jobs from Future Jobs: Solving the Employment and Skills Crisis.

Technology and global business practices have continuously raised the employee knowledge bar for most jobs. Yet the education-to-employment system has remained the same. We have failed to respond to the challenge of creating a larger talent pool of skilled people in our communities.

The United States and the world are locked into a structural labor-market race between advanced technology on one side and demographics and education on the other. Too few Americans are prepared to run in this race. By the decade's end, many businesses will no longer have the talent they need to sustain themselves.

Most of the fastest growing, good paying jobs will be in occupations that require some form of postsecondary education/training. This includes apprenticeships and occupational certificates, as well as two/four year degrees, and graduate/professional degrees.

The fastest growing occupations are related to health care, personal care, community and social sciences. Also greatly increased demand will exist for jobs at all levels of complexity in the science, technology, engineering and mathematical occupational areas (STEM).

Low-skill jobs will still account for the greatest number of job openings, but they are not high-paying jobs.

A combination of economic and demographic forces will also affect job openings. Due to the exit from employment of the baby-boom generation, replacements will generate more job openings than new job creation.

The good-paying, low-skill jobs of the Industrial and Computer Eras are now being replaced by the new high-skill occupations of this Cyber-Mental Era. Today's "good jobs" require workers to have the knowledge and preparation for creating, implementing, or using these new technologies and the information they produce. In short, today's labor market requires many more workers to have completed both a good to great liberal arts general education plus the specific career education required for a technical or professional occupation.

Unlike the last 50 or even 70 years, during which U.S. business had an almost unquenchable thirst for men and women with minimal education, 21st-century technology has less and less use for them. In every type of business there is a demand for knowledge workers (i.e., persons with specialized career training, and a sound liberal arts education). With job content changing so fast in every field, continuing education updates and greater mental dexterity is a necessity for almost every worker.

Today and into the foreseeable future, because of the historic rate of human technological progress, business is becoming more and more dependent on jobs that call for the majority of all employees to exercise their brains rather than just their brawn.