Career Calling

March 8, 2011

Software, Automation, Education, and Jobs

Filed under: Economics — claycerny @ 3:48 am
Tags: , , , ,

Paul Krugman has written a very interesting editorial in the New York Times on the belief that education will drive jobs in the future.  Krugman points out that more and more white collar jobs are being lost to software and automation.  Any routine, repetitive task can be done better by a machine.  Krugman thinks the only solutions are rights for labor unions and better health care.  I’m much more pessimistic.  What good are unions if  machines do the work?  How will the unemployed pay for health care?  I fear that at some point we will have too many people and not enough jobs – unless you are a machine.

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March 3, 2011

Don’t Fudge on Technical Skills

Sometimes clients will tell me about their computer and technical skills, and I can hear doubt in their voice.  I ask them a simple question: If an employer were to give you a hands-on test at an interview, could you use the software.  If your answer is yes, list the software on your resume.  If not, don’t list a program you can’t use on the job.

Be fair to yourself.  Some programs, such as Excel, have degrees of skill.  If you have used a program on the job, take credit for that skill and experience.  Be careful about what programs you cite on your resume.  At the same time, don’t cheat yourself.

November 22, 2010

Do You Need Training?

Job seekers assume the worst, especially when it comes to technical skills.  Clients frequently tell me they need to take training for a new kind of computer skills.  I ask them if they are sure they will need it.  In many cases, they are assuming without checking job postings or career profiles.  Take the time to build a market profile.  Review 8-10 job postings and note all of the requirements that employers are looking for.  If 6 of 10 or 5 of 8 employers are looking for someone who knows Excel, it is probably important that you know how to use the software.  If it’s not, you might be wasting good time and money taking a class you won’t need.

Take the time to do the research before you jump into training.  Is it needed?  Will it be worth your time and money?