This year’s crop of college grads will be entering one of the toughest job markets the country has seen in years. Some of this is a natural result of the recession, but as Zero Hedge points out, much of it is due to structural changes in the economy that have made college degrees less valuable than in the past:
Getting a college degree, even in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects, no longer guarantees a job. As I have often noted, producing more graduates does not magically create jobs. The economy can only support a certain number of jobs in any one field. Producing 10 times as many graduates in that field does not create 10 times more jobs. […]
He also says college grads should forget the dream of stable, long-term jobs in the education, health care, or public sector (what he refers to as the “rentier cartel-state economy”), and instead adapt themselves to the realities of the freelance economy:
These bloated fiefdoms and cartels keep growing while the economy stagnates, increasing their share of the national income at the expense of the rest of the economy (and there is an opportunity cost to this malinvestment—what else could we have done with these trillions squandered on rentier arrangements?). The cartel-state economy will collapse under its own weight.There are opportunities, but they require a deep understanding of risk and security. A livelihood with day-to-day low-level insecurity and volatility is actually far more stable and secure than the cartel-state one that claims to be guaranteed.
This is mostly right. A regular, life-long job at a single large firm was a peculiar feature of the blue model economy of the past century. We expect the future job market will be characterized as he says by more volatility but also, one hopes, by more freedom, innovation, and opportunity.There are a number of other interesting observations here—all very thought-provoking. Definitely worth a full read.