I have been reading Laurence Shatkin since I was in college. In the process of releasing the tenth edition of Top 100 Careers without a Four-Year Degree, he shared some insights regarding how current labor trends might affect people’s careers – now and in the future.
It’s no secret that people who have more education and training generally earn more than those with less, but the advantages don’t stop there. According to Shatkin: “Jobs that require education and training beyond high school are projected to grow significantly faster than jobs that do not. People with higher levels of education and training are less likely to be unemployed, and when they are, they remain unemployed for shorter periods of time. There are always exceptions, but it is clear that more education results in higher earnings and lower rates of unemployment.”
Shatkin explains that in all fields, people without job-related technical skills tend to have a more difficult time finding good opportunities because they are competing with others who do have these skills. “Employers hire people who have the skills they need, and people without these abilities won’t get the best jobs. So, whatever your age, consider upgrading your job-related computer and technology skills if they are not up to date and plan to keep them current on your present and future jobs,” he adds.
According to Shatkin, rapid changes in technology have prompted the requirement for people to continue learning throughout their work life. He says: “Jobs are constantly upgraded, and today’s jobs often cannot be handled by people who have only the knowledge and skills that were adequate for workers a few years ago. To remain competitive, you will need to constantly upgrade your technology and other job-related skills. This may include taking formal courses, reading work-related magazines at home, signing up for on-the-job training, or participating in other forms of education.”
“Most people spend more time watching TV in a week than they spend on career planning during an entire year. Yet most people will change their jobs many times and make major career changes five to seven times. For this reason, it is important for you to spend time considering your career options and preparing to advance,” he explains.