Several important reports have been published in recent months, most notably aGeorgetown Center for Education and the Workforce, to dieOECD Skills Report 2019: Success in a Digital World, is the newCollege Board Initiativesto explain the structural disadvantages that, together, should be the tsunami warning I have been trying to sound for over a decade. The American Dream has been alive for a generation, and without intervention, it may be irrecoverable. We are on the edge of the abyss between the Third and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. In the Third Industrial Revolution we needed workers trained in technical skills to build the infrastructure for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We dove into STEM skills and focused on education, which we were able to demonstrate through standardized testing. During this period, leadership worked from the higher education factory to industry for people with the required degrees. We're pushing more and more people into this channel, focusing on monolithic titles with rising costs. We don't pay attention to how technology has replaced workers. Fewer workers could produce more. People without higher education, mainly men with only Abitur,retired from professional life, many of them in mental breakdowns, and there were moredesperate deaths🇧🇷 That oneWall Street Journaljust published an article entitled"Family goes into debt to stay in the middle class."Cars, colleges, housing and health care have all become significantly more expensive, and consumer debt, excluding mortgages, is now $4 trillion, higher than ever before, even after adjusting for inflation. Simultaneously,Revenue has been stagnant for two decades.This reports Pew Researchbetween 1971 and 2011 we lost about 10% of the middle class.
I believe that if we act now, we can revive the American Dream. The challenge is that what worked in past industrial revolutions will not work in the next one. We need to think differently, both to prepare the next generation for the future of work and to select today's workers to find the best ways to adapt to a world of work they weren't prepared for.
Emergence of the term “American dream” and construction of the middle class
1931, the authorJames Trulow Adamscoined the term “American Dream” in his book.America's Epic, in which he states that “life should be better, richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunities for everyone according to ability or achievement”, regardless of social class or birth circumstances. We have long interpreted this to mean that the American dream is better than the parents. The American dream is to secure a stable place in the middle or upper class. The American dream is home ownership or some other defining factor of stability. Relatively speaking, we haven't had a middle class for so long. The second industrial revolution and the post-World War II boom built our mass-produced middle class.changing the way we live our livesand our consumer society emerged. During this time we also created work as a separate concept from home and a solid professional identity was born.
loss of social mobility
recent researchby Raj Chetty found that if you were born in 1940, you had a 90% chance of doing better than your parents; If you were born in 1984, that chance drops to 50%. While the 1940 cohort is perhaps unusual in that it experienced an unprecedented economic boom after World War II, even the 1950 cohort had higher rates of mobility (see chart). The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently published a report showing that theThe middle class is shrinking in all developed countries, but even more so in the United States.🇧🇷 While we have lifted developing countries out of poverty and built their middle classes, ours has been eroded.
Increased income inequality in the United States; Decreasing income inequality in the world
The US economy is in uncharted territory, and while most are celebrating new stock market milestones and the lowest unemployment rate in fifty years, a closer look reveals a more structured picture. Not everyone agrees. CorrespondingStanford Graduate School of Business Professor Researchand economistPaul Oyer, “Times are good when you have a college education and work in the right industries in the right places. But the last 50 years have been terrible for the least educated people. Adjusted for inflation, the average salary of a man who didn't go to college is lower today than it was 50 years ago. This is unheard of. And, in particular, Professor Oyer points out that we have reduced income inequality globally and increased it in the United States. “The remaining low-wage jobs here are considered very good jobs in China. [Globally] we've lifted a billion, two billion people out of poverty in the last 30 years," Oyer wrote. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, professors at MIT's Sloan School of Management, have studied the relationship between technology and business for years. His efforts culminated in a seminal book,The second machine age: work, progress and prosperity in the age of brilliant technology,in which they tell how digital technologies contribute to wage stagnation. More specifically, Brynjolfsson explains in a2015Harvard Business ReviewInterviewHowever, in the 1980s, median income growth began to decline. In the last 15 years it has become negative; once adjusted for inflation, an American family in the 50th percentile of the income distribution earns less today than it did in 1998, even after accounting for changes in family size. Job growth in the private sector has also slowed, and not just because of the 2008 recession. Job gains were slow throughout the 2000s, even as the economy expanded. We call this phenomenon the Great Decoupling. The two halves of the prosperity cycle are no longer linked: economic prosperity, exemplified by GDP and productivity, has maintained an upward trend, but income and employment prospects for typical workers have faltered. in fact, accInstitute of Economic Policy, from 1945 to 1973 the richest 1% accounted for 4.9% of total income growth, while from 1973 to 2007 the richest 1% accounted for more than 58% of income growth, and since the crisis global financial, the richest 1% sales growth is consistently greater than 40%.
Socioeconomic status is now not acquired but inherited
AccordingGeorgetown Center for Education and Workforce Report Born to Win, Built to Lose, "[A privileged preschooler with test scores in the bottom half has a 7 in 10 chance of achieving high socioeconomic status among peers as a young adult, while a disadvantaged preschooler with test scores in the top half has only a 3 in 10 chances.” Students who fall behind are left behind because "advantaged students have safety nets to keep them on track. Since this is not the case for less advantaged peers, they are more likely to fall behind and fall behind." Among children who show similar academic potential in kindergarten, the test scores of economically disadvantaged students are more likely to drop and remain low through elementary, middle, and high school than the test scores of their high-achieving peers. socioeconomic status. Students with lower socioeconomic status (SES) complete tertiary education at much lower rates than their higher SES peers. Social mobility is lost, and with it enormous human potential. Professor Oyer also comments: "The big advantage is early intervention. Get kids into preschool so they don't fall behind. There's a lot of evidence that some third graders get very back and never catch up. For many children, 8 years is too late. If your parents are not involved in the education system, 10 years from now you will be competing in the job market with people whose parents sent you to the Dominican Republic for violin lessons and summer programs. There is inequality of opportunity."
Massification of Higher Education: The Monolithic Degree
As we transitioned from the second to the third industrial revolution, we suddenly needed a skilled and educated workforce with a higher education. At the same time, we began the long task of creating, through the women's movement, the civil rights movement and the GI Act, a more perfect union that would stimulate the supply side of the now more diverse and better educated workforce. In that period, from 1960 to 1990, the number of higher education institutions in the United States doubled. After this expansion, everyone jumped on the gravy bandwagon: university ranking journals; textbook publishers, who could raise prices twice the rate of inflation; Higher education institutions that could raise tuition above inflation as student loan solutions emerged that took the pain out of the future. The profitability of higher education justified the cost until it was perhaps questioned. During the era of mass education, higher education myopically focused on monolithic titles. "Choose a good career" was advice that, if followed, guaranteed good and steady career advancement. Universities educated students in only one specialty and one industry, and if they received a decent starting salary, their schools could claim to be successful. All of this worked until some point between the dot-com crash and the global financial crisis, when the assets used to fund the future paycheck plummeted in value, while at the same time technological prowess increased the knowledge worker's influence to such an extent. point that few workers with only one set of skills were available. required. And now we have an unmet need for highly skilled workers in areas like data analytics and cybersecurity, but we have a large student body graduating with debt and degrees they can't monetize because the skills taught are outdated and irrelevant. Furthermore, we have focused almost exclusively on training people in technical skills with the false promise that they could use this training throughout their careers rather than as a starting point in a long arc of lifelong learning. Furthermore, the biggest skills gaps today are not technical, they are social, and we are not developing the unique human skills we need in the workforce. David Deming's research found that jobs requiring high soft skills and low soft skills have been in decline for decades, while jobs requiring high soft skills and low soft skills have risen in an almost inverse correlation. Our education and development systems do not take this need into account.
K-12 as Workforce Preparation = Disconnect
In our efforts to improve education in this country, we may be shooting ourselves in the foot. We short-sightedly focus on testing learning, but what is testable is also easy to automate. Our rush to get kids into summative testing (teaching to the test) is undermining their engagement at a time when we most need young people to adapt habits that enable lifelong learning.Promessa Gallup Studios, and found that children become increasingly disinterested as they progress through elementary, middle, and high school. This is a profound loss of human potential.
Possible effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
According to Klaus Schwab, from the World Economic Forum, we are now entering thefourIndustrial Revolution characterized by the fusion of biological, cybernetic and physical systems. The first industrial revolution was driven by the steam engine; the second based on electrification, mass production and division of labor; and the third is characterized by computerization and automation of physical work. Our apprenticeship systems were created to train farm workers to become factory workers in the First and Second Industrial Revolutions and have changed little since. The last two or three industrial revolutions required a skilled and usable workforce, and for them we built learning systems that would codify and transfer existing knowledge and pre-selected skills. Through a combination of globalization and technological change, products, services and business models are rapidly changing, requiring new skills, new talent and eventually new employees. The model of hiring past skills and experience becomes a veritable Sisyphean task because many of the skills we need are just emerging and we don't have the luxury of the seven to 10 years it takes to train and transfer to develop those skills, abilities and knowledge to make available to a new group of workers. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is perhaps most notable for the (predicted) waves of technological unemployment among knowledge workers, because anything that is mentally routine or predictable will soon be achievable by algorithms. In this reality, the value of stored knowledge may diminish in favor of the ability to work with information flows, form new knowledge and/or extract greater meaning from technology-driven processes. Computers are very good at answering specific questions and, so far, very bad at decoding intent, inferring meaning, and making judgments. So it doesn't seem wrong that almost all future job skills lists focus on non-technical and purely human skills (sometimes referred to as soft skills). These are precisely the skills that are outside of our current Education to Work factory lineup, where we prefer to jump to rapidly evolving technical skills and only focus on what we can measure, which is exactly what we can automate.
The Dunning-Kruger Effect meets the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Often, the people most vulnerable to technological displacement (unemployment) are the least aware of their vulnerability. It reminds the famousDunning-Kruger Effectby then-Cornell psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger, who argue that the less competent you are, the less accurate it will be in assessing your abilities. This seems to apply to our current challenging workforce transition. We must simultaneously train our employees to a baseline of digital fluency, guide them in lifelong learning and adaptation, and encourage them to develop their unique human skills (soft skills) such as communication, creativity, empathy, and judgment. ONEStudie des Centre for the New Workforce an der Swinburne Universityin Australia stated: "The more an industry is disrupted by digital technologies, the more workers in those industries value unique human 'soft skills'." These are precisely the skills we currently don't pay attention to, either in training or in the workforce. From collaboration, empathy and soft skills to entrepreneurial skills, these soft skills are less likely to be replaced by AI and automation and therefore more likely to increase a worker's resilience to changing circumstances.
A study commissioned by the freelance platform Upwork, entitled “Self Employed in the United States: 2017found that 65% of freelancers improve their skills, but only 45% of full-time employees do the same. As such, those most affected by the winds of change and those most in need of up-to-date skills to carry out their daily jobs or gigs are best prepared at this time. This leads me to believe that there is still a long way to go to prepare the entire workforce for the necessary changes predicted in the McKinsey reportDigital America: Stories of the Rich and the Richestwe digitize less than 20% of our economy.MIT Technology Review has created a chart that shows all job loss predictionsand the shift brought about by advances in technology and the predictive job analytics platformFaethm created a graph of this data(in between).
Type longevity and accelerated change
As income inequality widens, social mobility stagnates, socioeconomic status is largely inherited, and we face intense pressure from accelerating technological change that will transform jobs and transform work, more changes are to come that will require adaptation: we are living longer. , much more widely. We have made the most significant leaps in human longevity in recent decades, and we are living longer and therefore working longer in more cycles of change.
My thesis: working to learn
The future of work is learning and adapting. Training, known as education, has long focused on “self-education,” meaning acquiring predetermined skills and knowledge so students can find employment and climb the corporate ladder. Or, to put it another way: we once learned to work. We are now entering a world of work, particularly as we enter the fourth industrial revolution, where everything that is routine or predictable, mentally or physically, is best accomplished through an algorithm or some form of knowledge- or physics-based automation. In this reality, my colleague Chris Shipley and I believe that in order for us to "work to learn" and adapt for the rest of our now much longer careers, we must learn to learn. While it has long been thought that learning is best in adolescence due to brain plasticity, new research suggests that some skills, such as fluid intelligence, peak in adolescence, while other skills, particularly those essential for the best skills required in the future , are peaking. their peak. after 40 years.
Rebuilding the American Dream
Several factors have contributed to where we are today, but the question is where are we going? I'm not a policy expert, so I'll leave the answers to other qualified people, but I think we framed our challenges with the rear view mirror instead of the windshield. At some point in the Third Industrial Revolution, people went from assets to be developed to costs to be contained, and during that time we invested drastically less in human capital. In the same period, for those lucky enough to have access, higher education has become "choose a good course, get a good job, and climb the corporate ladder." That promise, thus articulated, is no longer valid. At the same time, we focus on preserving wealth and retaining as much of the value we've created in the past as possible in the present. This has been called the Era of Shareholder Value. Our focus is extracting and preserving value rather than creating it. Those with the right degrees and/or the right skills reaped the benefits. Those without the right skills or access to them were stuck at best. In general, we stopped investing in people. We have allowed structural barriers to human potential to arise. We stopped taking longer steps. At that decisive moment, our dreams must be centered, not directly in front of us, but on the horizon; in other words, we need dreams of a generation or generations. We need to focus not on how to preserve wealth, but on how to invest in the next generations to create the taxpayers of the future. Where do we invest and how do we dream when our goal is to maximize human potential? For this reason, I sincerely believe that the future of work is learning, which for its realization requires, among other things, early interventions, universal preschool education and systems that support lifelong learning, because the evidence suggests that many Cognitive skills culminate in reaching fullness, now. much longer, arc of our lives. This is a new business. This new deal requires business and government investment in lifelong learning and changes in our individual expectations. Learning is now an individual responsibility of each individual. To do less would be a waste of human potential and economic opportunity. To do less would mean to stop striving for a more perfect union. Less would be un-American.
this piece wasOriginally Posted on Forbes.