Unemployment has skyrocketed, job security has evaporated, and compensation has declined for most all workers. Retail jobs make up for most of the new low wage jobs, and better jobs across all industries demand the application of creativity, innovativeness and complex thought. Routine and easily defined job face competition from automation and outsourcing. Middle class job loss is America’s most pressing economic problem. Yet foreign competition, cheaper labor and free trade are easily blamed for the decline of career opportunities. Beliefs about protecting jobs by keeping them at home or not hiring immigrant talent will not affect the realities of labor or globalization.
The U.S. faces fundamental challenges about its role in the global workplace and economic order. Unlike cyclical unemployment where layoffs come from temporary pauses in activity, the present structural change have relocated jobs permanently. Creating new jobs is taking longer, workers are experiencing more stress and less satisfaction, and employers seeking to grow companies face greater credit risks. To achieve this, students and adults must face tough choices about how to invest in their future. Few workers can avoid the consequences of competing in a super-integrated world where all aspects of production have become commodities. All raw materials, design, manufacturing, distribution, and financing are accessible at anytime from anywhere, by anyone. As a result, assumptions about career development strategies for Main Street workers, college graduates, and outer space explorers need review. Embracing a STEM-Centric career development orientation is necessary if career development is to build bridges across the community and beyond.
Information was adopted from STEM-Centric Career Development:Building Bright Futures From Main Street to Outer Space by Rich Feller