Monday, June 26, 2017

George Anders' June Newsletter on College, Careers and the Future of Work

George Anders is putting together a new book, You Can Do Anything:  The Surprising Power of a 'Useless" Liberal Arts Education.  He just sent out his June Newsletter which contains great information about job-market dynamics, the value of a college degree and related topics.  Take a look at it, and feel free to subscribe to it yourself.  Click here for the link to George's website and to sign up for the newsletter.   

June Newsletter:
Welcome to June’s edition of this newsletter about college, careers, and the future of work. In this issue, I’m looking at the rise of robots and software, with a focus on what humans can do to stay ahead. I’m also giving away five advance copies of my new book, You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Education. (See the final section for details.)
Everyone’s Destiny in a Single Chart

The latest issue of Bloomberg Businessweek includes a brilliant chart spanning nearly 700 careers – from marriage therapists to carpet installers. For each one, Oxford University researchers have calculated the 20-year odds of automation-related job loss. It’s an interactive marvel. Scroll down to the fourth chart in the article and let your mouse hover over various yellow, green and red circles to see what’s deemed safe and what isn’t.

This vision of the future taps into two big insights: one familiar, the other startling.

First: the best safeguard against automation is a college degree. The college-honed skills of a lawyer or even a fundraising specialist will be hard to duplicate with software or robots. It’s a different story, however for office clerks or restaurant employees. Such work, for now, is available to anyone with a high school degree. As we all know, however, software and machines keep making inroads where tasks are simple, repetitive and predictable.

Now comes the surprise. Some high-paying jobs that cater to college grads look vulnerable, too. Prime examples include bank-lending officers and the most routine aspects of computer programming. The safest jobs, according to Oxford researchers Carl Frey and Michael Osborne, involve a high level of originality and an intense “service orientation.” That’s good news for ambitious executives and brainy software developers. Refreshingly, it’s a boon, too, for social workers, writers, teachers, doctors, nurses and physical therapists.
Is Anyone Lecturing About This?

The answer is yes. MIT economist David Autor is an especially astute voice; this link takes you to his popular 2016 TEDx talk about job-market dynamics. Silicon Valley eminence Jerry Kaplan shares plenty of insights from his recent book, Humans Need Not Apply, in this talk. And I’m getting in the game as well.

Earlier this month, I traveled to Denver to discuss “Work’s Provocative Future” with trustees of a leading liberal-arts college. In September, I’ll be delivering an updated version of this talk at Claremont McKenna College, in southern California. If you’re interested in seeing a preview of my key slides on the topic, you can find them at this Slideshare link. I’m convinced that creativity, curiosity and empathy can sustain good jobs in areas that the machines can’t touch. If that’s a perspective that interests you, we should connect!
Making Foreign-Language Expertise Pay Off

Each issue of this newsletter focuses on new trends for particular college majors. This month, the spotlight is on degrees in French, Japanese, and other languages. As this recent piece on attests, language majors are benefiting from the boom in localization, as companies of all sizes scramble to recast English-language content for diverse markets world-wide.

Think bigger than the mechanics of line-by-line translation. That’s partially automated already, and it’s a favorite target of machine-learning. What’s crucial is human oversight, starting with recruiting teams of translators and making sure the work is parceled out appropriately. Someone also needs to referee difficult calls about everything from profanity to local color taboos. These are high-impact, high-paying managerial jobs. They call for people who can work well in cultures both familiar and unfamiliar. Language degrees can be the winning ticket. At Brigham Young University, localization has become the college of humanities’ fastest growing minor.

Share This Newsletter; Win a Book

Newsletters are meant to be shared, and this one is no exception. Many of you have forwarded earlier editions to dozens of your friends, relatives and business colleagues. I appreciate the support! In fact, I’d like to do more to recognize this community’s most active sharers.

While You Can Do Anything is still a few weeks away from its bookstore debut, we’ve got a limited number of bound galleys that amount to a full paperback preview. (These galleys traditionally go to book-review editors, broadcast producers and the like, ahead of formal publication.)

If you’d like an early copy, free, all you need to do is be generous with your sharing. I’ll look at the email analytics a week from now, with the goal of sending free galleys to the five newsletter readers who are the most active sharers. Or if you'd rather be sure of getting a hardcover or e-book as soon as YCDA goes on sale (Aug. 8), simply click on the cover image to the right to place a pre-order. The book just became Amazon's No. 1 new release in its Career Development Counseling category, which is exciting news! .

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