Monday, July 02, 2007

Predicting Jobs and Careers

Back when I was lost in academe in the 80s, my university had a big discussion about whether it should train students for particular jobs or focus on a broad and adaptable education. Our vice-president for academic affairs was very much in the former camp. We had to draw students and we had to focus on those careers that promised long-term security. Like computer programming. These are the guys who went to the schools that followed that advice, now royally screwed and with no prospect of it getting better. Just a very nice cautionary tale for anyone thinking they can predict what will be needed a decade or two in this fast-changing world and for anyone trusting academics. Like me. (Actually, though, you want a secure, long-term job? No, not “plastics.” Corrections. Like I used to tell my advisees, we’ll close the last school in this country before we close down any prisons. It’s called “making your nation great.”)

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