Students want ‘jobs of the past’

Community college students want steady jobs with set hours, job security and pensions, writes a professor. “Too tired to hustle,” her students want “the jobs of the past.”

Colleges and universities will compete for a declining number of affluent, white students in the next decade, potentially driving some private colleges out of business, predict demographers. (It should bring down college costs, but don’t hold your breath.) The number of college-age blacks is declining too, while there are more Latinos and Asian-Americans. 

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Comments

  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    Who wouldn’t?
    Thing is whether they’re educating themselves in that direction.
    Or are they, resignedly, moving in the direction of an unsettled job market where you have to keep your feet moving at all times?

  2. Foobarista says:

    The whole structure of college is oriented around “the jobs of the past”: set courses with hierarchical progression, each with standardized homework and tests, all managed by an academic bureaucracy employed in “jobs of the past”. With the arguable – and to them unfortunate – exception of adjuncts, who in academia isn’t in a “job of the past”?

    • Richard Aubrey says:

      Foobarista,
      To make a crude analogy, you want a car built by people working in jobs of the past. Somebody winging it in his garage and bringing back the Wankel is not likely to have a warranty worth much.
      Question is not whether the education process is organized in one fashion or the other. The question is what use the students intend to make of it.
      in the old fashion. The question is whether

      • Mark Roulo says:

        To make a crude analogy, you want a car built by people working in jobs of the past. Somebody winging it in his garage and bringing back the Wankel is not likely to have a warranty worth much.

        You are conflating the company producing the car with the day-to-day actions of the workers. I’m fairly sure that the folks that were working on Henry Ford’s production lines in 1925 were doing very different things than the folks working on modern Ford production lines.

         

        And the skill sets are probably different. And the modern line probably requires *more* skills and more adaptability than in the 1920s.

         

        My guess is that jobs are less “regular” today than in the distant past. The stuff that is too regular tends to get (a) automated or (b) outsourced.

         

        Additionally, jobs are not as stable as they were in the 1950s (or at least as we *remember* jobs from the 1950s). Working 30 years for one company may be harder today … partially because there seems to be more flux in company fortunes (compare the big 3 in the 1950s to the big 3 today).

         

        So the kids want jobs that they can learn to do early in their life, then do them for 30+ years for the same company for reasonable pay. Then retire. That isn’t an option anymore (if it ever was for more than a small minority).

         

        The companies might still be there, but the jobs have changed.

  3. I read recently that blacks ( and Hispanics, I think) and women are significantly more risk-averse than are white males or Asians. If so, and this group is disproportionately from the former category, this could be a significant factor. It could also be a significant factor in income differences between the groups.

    • Mark Roulo says:

      I read recently that blacks ( and Hispanics, I think) and women are significantly more risk-averse than are white males or Asians.

      Unless the thing you read accounted for relative wealth, this might just be another way of saying that, on average, poorer folks tend to be more risk averse. On average, blacks, Hispanics and women make less than white males.

      • An entrepreneur needs confidence that if his business fails, he’ll find some other way to make a living. That confidence comes much more easily to the children of the upper class.

  4. greeneyeshade says:

    That line, “The problem with making your own luck is that it requires so much previous luck,” has gone into my commonplace book.