[M]any people in the U.S. and around the world lack the education and skills required to participate in the great new companies coming out of the software revolution. This is a tragedy since every company I work with is absolutely starved for talent… This problem is even worse than it looks because many workers in existing industries will be stranded on the wrong side of software-based disruption and may never be able to work in their fields again. There’s no way through this problem other than education (read retraining), and we have a long way to go.
I spoke of this exact issue recently in a systematic theology course. While there are huge opportunities for the advancements economies that can leverage software space in the minds of consumers, there are many careers that will disappear within the upcoming decades. Often one hears statements about the affect of outsourcing (think back to the automotive bailout) on fewer industrial jobs in the US. Yet most of those jobs were not outsourced, rather they were automated thanks to software that replaced a need for them.
Furthermore, software lowers the requirements needed for jobs in industrial settings. Where one once needed technical skills to perform tasks at work, any still working in industry now find themselves watching machines do the work (observation jobs which can/will also become automated). I’m unsure how the economy will adapt to this shift, and I find myself concerned about the education/retraining will be done.
Much of my consideration around this subject has rested is in how the Church might respond to this shift. Any thoughts out there?
UPDATE: My intention here was not to make anyone feel as though they have chosen a poor perfession, but to ask one question. In a shifting economy (where people must be retrained) how will the church respond? There will always be need for service sector jobs, but with the shift towards automating industry how might we respond to those being displaced? If Detroit is any indication, not very well. But I remain optimistic about the future.