I often have friends, family and associates with children graduating from High School ask me for some career advice. It comes with the territory as an executive coach and recruiter.
My first thought if oftem to recommend a degree course in computer science or computer engineering because it requires and offeres focus and discipline, and the jobs that derive from those courses are plentiful, relevant and unlikely to become obsolete.
However, after reading books by Jeremy Rifkin (The Third Industrial Revolution) and Ray Kurzweil (How to Create a Mind), I now wonder whether a career in information technology is actually better than, say, becoming a lawyer or a construction worker.
While the two authors differ in their political persuasions (Rifkin is a Green leftist and Kurzweil is a Libertarian transhumanist), both foresee an increasingly automated future where most of humanity would become either jobless or underemployed by the middle of the century. While robots take over the production of consumer hardware, Big Data algorithms like the ones used by Google and IBM appear to be displacing even white collar tech workers. How long before the only ones left on the payroll are the few "rockstar" programmers and administrators needed to maintain the system?
Besides politics and drug dealing, what jobs are really future-proof? Would it be better if future "thought-leaders" took a course in the Arts, since creativity is looking to be one of humanity's final frontiers against the inevitable Rise of the Machines?
I studied Political Science, English and Social History in college. I could never have predicted my own career-path. No one could. I have ended-up in a gunuinely unique role in btoth the business communiity, and socoety, in general. Today I work with people helping them make better decisions through career-paths that involve thinking outside of themselves and following (and pushing) trends.
More later. However, we've started the conversation, and I have you thinking.
Let's be part of the Solution.
brian patrick cork