“President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college,” Santorum said. “What a snob!” He continues with: “Not all folks are gifted the same way. Some people have incredible gifts with their hands.” Yeah, and some people are extremely gifted basket weavers, but there probably aren’t a lot of jobs out there for them. The term, ‘good with their hands’, is a statement that triggers me because all too often teachers have told children of color, especially African American males, that they were not college material but that they were “good with their hands”. Santorum elaborated on his issues with President Obama’s edict, that all who want to go to college should be able to afford it, by explaining that there are alterior motives to our president’s statement. Santorum suggests that what the president is really after is to turn all of our children in to librals and he proves this by stating some obscure study which concludes that “62 percent of kids who enter college with some sort of faith commitment leave without it.”
So let’s deal with both of these issues. First, that everyone does not need to go to college because some are “good with their hands” and secondly, that college influences folks to loose their faith.
DOES COLLEGE MAKE KIDS LOOSE THEIR FAITH?
I decided to read a few of the more recent studies that Santorum might have quoted. TPM called the Santorum campaign to get the source, but as of this publishing they had not returned the call. The study that comes closest to supporting his theory reads:
So the study suggests that it is the freedoms of college life and the ability to do things that may not have been permitted at home by their parents that leads to young adults questioning the tenants of their faith. Moreover, the study proposes that, regardless of whether one goes to college or not, young adults in general tend to begin questioning their faith and/or researching other faiths.
I’M GOOD WITH MY HANDS
50 years ago the public education system assumed that less than 20% of its students would continue on to college. And the high school system was designed to prepare students who were “good with their hands” by offering courses in automobile mechanics, shop, sewing, etc. Not only have those classes disappeared from the course offerings, the jobs have disappeared too. Technology has created a system where an emphasis on manual labor has declined drastically and it will only intensify over the next decade. As a matter of fact Reuters suggests that our technological capabilities will increase by over 30 fold by 2020. A society that believes it can succeed on a minimally skilled labor force will be committing itself to 3rd world status. Considering the following from Forbes:
Automation technology will continue to hit hardest in the areas where we have come to expect it: the manufacturing sector and low-wage, unskilled jobs of all types. Yet the reality is that by 2020 we will also see increasing penetration of automation into occupations that require significant training and college degrees. The six-figure knowledge workers who now inhabit oceans of corporate cubicles will be heavily threatened by software automation and specialized artificial intelligence applications that can perform many of the routine tasks and analyses that occupy their days.
Now consider that what we have seen over the last 2 decades will not compare to the 30x increase we will see over this decade. We would be terribly naive to believe that college and/or technical training for most of our citizens isn’t an economic imperative
OBAMA IS ENGAGING IN SNOBBERY
Quite the contrary, he seems to be the only one of the presidential contenders who actually cares about the future of our children and this nation. He appears to be the only one who realizes that our children will be subjected to less than a working class living if they do not get at least specialized technical training. Which is exactly what he stated in the State of the Union address. The suggestion that President Obama wants everyone to get a 4-year degree is a lie. What he did say is that he wants everyone who wants to get a 4-year degree to be able to afford to get it.
More importantly, it is Santorum’s unearned white privilege that allows him to speak about the necessity of higher education so cavalierly. It is white privilege that allows him not to know that a black man with a 4-year degree and a clean record will not get an interview over a white male with only a high school diploma and a criminal record. And while latent racism compels teachers to overwhelmingly tell black and brown children that they are not college material but that they are good with their hands – Santorum is pandering to the idiotic thought process that drives poor whites to vote against their own interest so long as people of color get hurt in the process. African Americans cannot afford to indulge in conspiracies that college is about indoctrination. And poor whites can’t either.
WHAT JOBS WILL BE AVAILABLE IN THE NEXT DECADE?
Lists vary from source to source. I’m going to list a couple that I found that come from a legitimate source.
- Physical Therapists
- Occupational Therapists
- Assistant Managers – Retail and Restaurant.
- Managers – Financial Products, and Restaurant/Food Service.
- Family Practice and Internal Medicine Physicians
- Sales Associates/Salespeople
- Tax Preparers and Accountants
- Sales Managers and Sales Representatives
- Registered Nurses (RNs) – includes Travel Nursing
- Project Managers – Largely IT related; Domestic and International Business, private, government, and government contractor.
Job titles that appear on both lists are in bold type.
Arranged by Percentage of Growth over previous figures, High to Low:
- Biomedical Engineers - At least a Bachelors Degree.
- Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts – Bachelors Degree (many companies require graduate degrees, however in “real life”). This position will increase in importance and numbers, because IT cuts across all job fields in the 2010s. Look for it to explode with new jobs.
- Home Health Aides(HHAs) - HHA Certificate or On the Job Training under a licensed supervisor.
- Personal/Home Care Aides - On the Job Training, but many and community colleges are offering training and certifications.
- Financial Examiners - Bachelors Degree. although many job descriptions require a Masters.
- Medical Scientists - Doctorate.
- Physician’s Assistants – Masters Degree level (not all hospitals and doctors require this much education for assistants working in private practice, but a licensed MD or DO needs to be on site).
- Skin Care Specialists - Vocational Certificate. This is a non-medical position, but one that is often offered within the workings of a medical practice.
- Biochemists/Biophysicists – Doctorate
- Athletic Trainers – Bachelor Degree and above.
Arranged by Actual Numbers of Increasing Jobs, High to Low:
- Registered Nurses - Associate Degree or 3-year degree (RN) – Some positions require the BSN.
- Home Health Aides (HHA) - see above
- Customer Service Representatives – Moderate-length and ongoing training.
- Combined Food Prep-Service Workers – Like fast food, concessions, etc. - Usually trained at work.
- Personal/Home Care Aides - see above
- Retail Salespersons – Trained at work, but certifications are avaiabel in some communities.
- General Office Clerks – Same as for Rertail Sales above.
- Accountants/Auditors – Bachelors Degree at least. Forensic Accounting is growing very quickly.
- Nursing Aides (CNAs), Orderlies, Attendants – Usually require Vocational Certificates and ongoing training at work.
- Postsecondary Teachers (College Level) – Doctorate
- Federal Government Managers- Some of these jobs already appeared in top job listings on Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com in 2009, but disappeared by 2010.
- Higher-Education Administrators – Because professionals are working longer into the lifespan, this position may not emerge as a high demand job by 2020. However, the number of career academies and vocational schools providing certificates for 2 years or less of study may increase in the US. Stimulus Funding dollars spent to expand colleges, vocational schools, and universities may create such a need. A larger amount of funding seems to be going to educational R&D, with resulting new jobs and products.
- Program Evaluators – Increased numbers of government programs require program evaluators and compliance officers to monitor government funding and the results achieved on the federal, state, county, and local levels. My experience is that with each change of US President, these jobs either increase or decrease for the next 4 or 8 years.
- Corporate Executives in Global Business Development or Global Workforces (International business). The recommended languages to know areMandarin (a Chinese language), Hindi, Bengali, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic,and Farsi. Chinese is expected, because of US financial borrowing from China and related future development, along with China’s growth in International Business. Russian was a big language to know in the 1960s-1980s, and then fell out of celebrity — More dealing with the Russian government and business sectors is expected 2010 – 2020. Many US corporations have offices and workforces in Arab nations as well.
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists - Reportedly, this is the only type of Mental Health treatment that the new insurance system for America after 2012 will support. My experiences in providing treatment did not find this type to be the most effective for most patients. However, some applications of it are simpler and cheaper than all other Mental Health Treatments. My worst experience surrounding this treatment was listening to a psychologist tell a back-injured Workers Compensation client about reported back pain, “Your back does not hurt, so you have no pain.” It was a very short treatment session, with very little further conversation and the patient was angry. It was a misapplication of the treatment, but you get my point – this therapy can be minimal and ineffective in some cases.
- Immigration Experts – This many be an imminent increase with the focus on legalizing undocumented workers.
- Researchers - Government funded topics involve physics, math, biology, engineering, and computer science (CIS). This is to be expected with the advance of Medical and Bio-engineering, privatized space flight, and other fields. Major Universities and businesses across America are already advertising Research Scientist positions. High School Curricula are promoting these lines of study as well.
- Health-Informatics Specialists – This involves the National Medical Database as well as increasing patient activity generated by an aging American population. it takes a legion of workers to construct and maintain such a national database, and it may not come to fruition.
- Optometrists - An increase in the need for these professionals likely has to do with an aging population and a need for piots in thre military and privite aviation and aeronautics field.
- Genetic Counselors – This directly involves looking for genetically based diseases and conditions in order to repair damage, prevent or end conception, or treat patients more fully. However, there is a trend in clients’ desire for wishing to design babies according to specific genetic information. This is not yet possible in the 2010s. (yikes, not sure I like the implications of this one)
Now consider this: The March 2012 edition of the Harvard Business Review sites a study by Eric Hanushek which measures k-12 test scores to GDP growth.
He found that if one country’s scores were only 1/2 a standard deviation higher than another in 1960, its GDP grew a full percentage point faster in every subsequent year through 2000.
The article further explains that if the US had closed the education achievement gap, the 2010 GDP should have been 8-14% higher! Not fixing our schools could lead to “the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession.” If in 20 years 1/2 of the nations people are people of color and the education gap between whites and people of color continues, the catastrophic economic implications are clear.
In case you missed the video – here it is – you can’t make this stuff up, folks.