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Technology Changing the Workforce

Essay by review  •  October 5, 2010  •  Essay  •  846 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,352 Views

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Technology and social change go hand-in-hand with the advancement of the workforce society within the last decade. Thanks to new technological breakthroughs emerging on a regular basis, the way we view employment has changed drastically compared to those of years before us. Dating back to the 1400's, Johan Gutenberg revolutionized the world as we know it today by developing the printing press. Today, we take such things for granted but it is writing that makes it possible to spread knowledge, communication, and ideas over such a wide body of population.

With the amazing developing of print, other inventions began emerging. Thanks to some amazing innovatists, the radio, television, telephone, and now today, the Internet, have all been established. Not only have these inventions altered our personal lives, but have changed the way the job industry has been run for years.

However, probably the biggest change these inventions have had in our society ability to earn an education. A college degree is almost a necessity in today's workforce. Today's technologically advanced economy desperately needs those who are trained in specialized areas; ranging from analyzing molecular genetic information to programming a database for a large company. Once there was a time when steel mills and assembly lines ruled the economy. Poor, uneducated men with amazing work ethics ruled the workforce. These men, and women, worked 60 hour work weeks to put their children through college so they did not have to suffer the same as they did. Those children are reaping the benefits today and times have changed drastically.

In Reich's book, he mentions that there are two types of winners. The first set includes those who posses skills, character traits, and desires to satisfy needs and wants in the ever-changing economy. The second category of winners is determined by companies and other organizations that develop a mass of individuals who are intelligent enough to work within nimble organizations, which is ultimately meeting market demands. Reich always claims there are losers in the new Digital Age economy as well. These are the those who are not as capable, lack execution, and have weak performance in was consistent with the "winners."

Reich's theory is based around "symbolic analysts"; individuals who are capable of prospering in the new economy. These people, who are often creative and think independently, are responsible for developing new ideas, manipulating and analyzing information, and implementing new strategies. Perfect careers for these "symbolic analysts" range from lawyers to engineers.

In this situation, Reich shows just how the development of employees who are "symbolic analysts" and the advancement of technology as turned our economy "weightless". Anything and everything associated with our economy has turned into information, numbers, knowledge, and skills. People are making higher and higher salaries now not for what they can physically produce, but what they can mentally achieve. Because of this absolute change in economic personality, the job market has changed as well. The need for a developed mind is much greater than the need for a



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