“Plays Well With Others …”

What jobs are growing today?

Photo: Iris Hamelmann. Source: Pixabay

Increasingly, it’s jobs that combine math and social skills. An economist interested in education and its long-term effects looked at jobs that have been growing or shrinking as a share of the economy since 1980. This is an interesting question. More and more occupations are being automated, even high-skill, quantitative occupations.

Learning math and computer science, it seems, is not enough. Increasingly, employers are looking for teamwork, cooperation, and communication skills. And work that involves collaboration and quantitative analysis is especially important. For example, writing computer code is often a group effort, now. Two programmers will work in pairs on the same workstation, with one entering code and the other reviewing each line as it’s typed in, as well as thinking about the program’s strategic direction.. This doesn’t work if either partner tries to dominate the process.

Source: New York Times

This has implications for the way we teach and learn. The old lecture-hall, homework model may have served when individuals were headed to assembly-line jobs. But our workplace doesn’t look like this anymore. Instead, we collaborate on projects where the goal itself may be constantly shifting—requiring agile teams to modify their methods and direction.

More and more routine work is being automated and outsourced, and the labor market is adjusting. Some have said we are in a “jobless recovery,” but that’s not accurate. There are lots and lots of job openings out there–a record number by some counts. Many of these positions go unfilled, though. If we can prepare workers for the new jobs—jobs that include social engagement as well as technical expertise—our economy could really soar.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA

Chief Investment Officer

68 South Main Street

Hanover, NH 03755

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