Watson’s entry into the job market is only the latest, clearest danger signal for white-collar jobs. The trouble has in fact been brewing for quite some time. A new study cited in The Atlantic refers to the past few years as a “lost decade” for college graduates, who have seen their (inflation-adjusted) entry-level wages fall by 5.2 percent for men and 4.4 percent for women, with no recovery in sight. Many would be quick to blame this on the Great Recession, but the article points out that this trend has been around since the late 1990s.This news is doubly bad for college-educated professionals. The drop in wages has been accompanied by a steady increase in college attendance costs, which have risen by 30 percent between 2000 and 2010, from an average of $13,263 per year to $17,464. Professionals are being squeezed from both sides: paying more and more for a degree that unlocks opportunities that are paying less and less. Of course, unskilled or lower-skilled workers have faced down the problems of automation and outsourcing for a long time now, but they’ve done so without the added burden of college tuition costs and student loans. In that sense, professionals are worse off than their blue-collar peers.As tough as choices are for today’s young people, there’s no going back. The new generation will need to come up with new answers to the problems of their time, much as the architects of the blue model did in their day. It is this type of forward thinking that will keep America vibrant and prosperous in the coming century.