Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Should You Get New Skills or Not?

Many times we get stuck at a dead end job. It does pay our bills and we are content with our lives, but if it's a low skill occupation, job security in the future is not so great. Before, like after the second world war, people keep the same job over their lifetime, such as being a mail man. But, nowadays, the technology is evolving at an ever increasing pace and is successfully replacing more and more humans with computers or robots in an ever widening array of industries. The advent of e-mail, in the long term will render the Post Office useless and mail men unemployed.  Self-checkout will make the cashier job a history, our favorite barista could be replaced by robot machines that would prep the coffee just the way we like it, etc.

Some jobs, that appeared to be secure forever, are no more, nowadays. And if we keep working a low skill job until late in our lives, we risk getting fired at one point and being replaced by machines.

I think jobs that require a bigger and more sophisticated skill set, basically offer more security, because it may be very hard or impossible to replace these workers with technology. I think if we devote time, to acquire new skill sets during our lives we greatly improve our competitiveness for the future.

But going to school after work sounds like inferno to many, since they think they wouldn't enjoy their lives enough if they only work and study. It's true, that studies take a lot of time and cost money, and we will be very stressed. But it usually takes only 3 to 5 years to achieve mastery in a new skill set and since most people live to be 60, 70 years old, i think 3 or 5 years for studying, it's not so much, because, if you get a better paying job after college, you will be living the next 30-40 years of your life so much better, than if you didn't go to university.

The best time to study is obviously, when we're younger. We have better health, more energy. When we get older and have kids things change a lot. Basically, school can truly be impossible for parents with many kids, and they can get stuck at their jobs forever.

Things are changing in the society and i keep seeing more and more indicators that not getting a better skill set or a better job might have nasty consequences regarding our future. What do you think about this? Sound off in comments.

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