Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Modern workforce requirements....at home

There has been a lot of talk about the skills shift in the labour market in Europe and USA. A big part of the simpler jobs are moving to robots, low-cost countries and are being exterminated by more excessive use of materials, standardization, computerization and better processes. There is a very interesting TED talk (Are droids taking our jobs) about how this trend will get more and more powerful.

But have you noticed that the same thing is happening at home? I mean can you even get all the stuff at home working if one of the parents is not a highly educated and experienced technician? For example when I was young the technical problem to solve was sharpening pens. Maybe you needed to sharpen a knife for that, but it was more about hands and less about brains. Now one must struggle with problems like Gmail is not working in a tablet because WiFi gets disconnected. Or reinstalling a telephone, because it cannot connect to the PC maintenance software anymore.
 Try to remember how many things we had 20 years ago at home that ran on batteries. Maybe five? Can you even count how many you have today? I think the battery manufacturers have even changed the packages from a pair of AA batteries to a 16 battery box.
 As I understand from the Christmas campaigns then the next job at home that will be taken over by robots is hoovering. This is of course good and one must embrace technology! Buy a robot, it is really cool and useful! However when doing so you must recognize that instead of 1h of hoovering a week you will be cleaning, maintaining, re-programming or solving technical problems of the robot-vacuum-cleaner for approximately 1h a month. So like always you save time but you must shift the skills to the next level.
 What this also means is that we will face a huge youth-unemployment problem at home as vacuum cleaning is something you can start from the age of 10, but figuring out why the robot is not cleaning is something only a parent with technical education can handle.

But this is not all. Besides technical maintenance and complexity a modern family needs also make sense of all the financial services, insurances, fonds etc. A question like "will I ever get a pension?" is something that you can only answer after thorough economical analysis that do need at minimum an MBA, but more preferably a masters degree of economics.

So happy studying! :-)

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