For years now, we’ve been telling
our children that a degree in tech would be their ticket to a great
career. It’s not hard to see why.
Technologyfrom self-driving cars to automated personal assistantsis
a pervasive, seismic presence in our lives. New interactive
technology is promising to re-invent all aspects of our lives.
Everyone is now online all the time. Social media allows us to be
in contact with each other on a constant basis, no matter where we
live or work.
We are living now in a time of constant, disruptive technological
change. But, according to a recent article in the Wall Street
Journal, of all the things the technology revolution has given us,
more jobs hasn't been one of them.
The article pointed out that Google Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc.
together employed about 74,000 people, one third less than the
workforce at Microsoft Corp., despite having a market cap that is
twice as big. Instagram, the article continued, had only 13
employees when Facebook acquired it in 2012 for $1 billion.
The discontent among the general public about an economy that is
still creating wealth but not jobs is palpable and powerful.
The authors of the Wall Street Journal article believe it is an
underlying factor in the dramatic political changes now unfolding
in the United States. “The gap between what the tech boom promised
and then delivered is another source of the rumbling national
discontent that powered the rise this year of political outsiders
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.
The math doesn’t lie: the most valuable companies today are just
not creating as many jobs as once thought. For the job seeker, what
conclusions should be drawn from the current state of the tech
1. There are no sure things when it comes to finding a good job. No
economic or market trend is a panacea for job seekers. As such, it
is never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket and pursue
one specific role at one specific company.
2. The labor market is a living, breathing entity that relentlessly
changes and evolves. Thanks to a myriad of different
factorseconomic demand, consumer preferences, global economic
eventsas one sector of the labor market shrinks, others will
expand. To be successful in your career, read everything you can
not only on your own current job or industry, but other related
industries and jobs.
3. It’s not about changing careers or professions; it’s about
finding other sectors or companies where your skills and experience
can be applied. We don’t normally associate novelists and playwrights
with the IT sector, but those exact people have been hired in
droves by companies such as Microsoft and Apple to construct
language for automated personal assistants like Siri. Many
different industriesfrom financial services to manufacturing and health
careare looking for people with solid technical skills and
The lesson here? Expand your horizons, consider alternative career
paths and keep an open mind about how to take your skills and
education and apply them outside the typical or traditional