The opposing trends

According to several economists, the most challenging task for all governments in the next ten years is job creation for their people. This is a serious problem to many countries and if they cannot solve it, the consequence can be devastating. The top issue is the high unemployment among younger people (18 to 30) all over the world. There are several causes for this such as the past U.S. financial crisis and the current European crisis. Together, they have created a serious crisis for the entire world. Young people who are trying to find job for the first time are frustrated and angry since there is no opportunity for them today and in the near future. In some countries youth unemployment is reaching over 25%. It is predicted that there will be many demonstrations that could create more unstable economies and topple governments.

However, there is another contrary trend such as the growing worldwide demand for highly skilled workers, on which innovation and technology often depends. A representative of the technology industry complained: "We look for the best and the brightest everywhere in the world but only found a few. We have over million jobs opening today but could not find qualified workers." In India, the demand for software engineers and other technology specialists has far exceeded the current supply, even India have produced half million engineer each year. Companies like TCS, Wipro, and Infosys have to train additional hundred thousands of software developers each year to meet the demand of its outsourcing services that they provide worldwide. At the beginning of this year, five European countries signed special immigration law to allow 40,000 Indian's software engineer to enter and worked in Europe although their unemployment was reaching 20%. In just six month, they are preparing to add another 20,000 more to meet the high demand. One high level official complained: “These jobs should go to our people but unfortunately we cannot find any so we have to bring in more Indian software workers.” When asking why, he was angry: “It is the archaic education system that cannot change to accommodate new technology. There is a big gap between what industry needs and what school teaches, and our people are the victims. Most of our graduates are not qualified for these jobs. They have no knowledge or skills on the new technology because of our slow to change education systems.”

The high demand for highly educated workers has created another social problem: The growing income disparity between university-graduated employees and those less fortunate. Many economists noted that "Severe income disparity between the rich and the poor is the world's major risk; it could bring social unrest and create an unbalanced society where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.”

An U.S college graduate summarized: “We all go to four year of college but some get job at Google or Facebook, making $120,000 dollars a year and bonus worth several million dollars when most of us cannot even have job. We would be happy to have job that pay $40,000 a year but there are none. How could a person get paid three times more and a huge bonus when others have nothing? That is absurd and unfair.” When he was asked why there is such a difference, he was angry: “No one told us about the industry needs, no one told us about career planning, no one explains to us about globalization and emerging technology. We are encouraged to go to college and select whatever field we like. There is no advice on what the future could be. We are told to get educated but never told about the reality of the job market. I study architecture but there is no job in architecture after the housing crisis. They told me it would take ten more years for the housing market to return to normal. I cannot wait another ten years without job.”

The jobless market is severe all over the world, except India where the rapid economic growth continues unchanged. Their enormous populations, their highly skilled technology workforce should sustain their growth for many decades. One technology leader noted that his business is growing twelve times each year for the past ten years. He said: “People think that we know something but as a matter of fact, it is luck. We are poor; we have no capital to invest in manufacturing. There is no government support so each company must do whatever it takes to survive. We invest in our own people and technology because it is an easy business to get in. It does not require a lot of capital or facilities and it is a clean industry. We purchase several hundred computers to start our company and provide programming training to our people. We start out as a code and test company for large software firms in the U.S. Demand continue to rise so we increase our workforce to one thousand, five thousands, twenty thousands and now we reach over one hundred thousand. We help so many people move out of poverty. We started at $80 dollars a month in 1997 but today our people are making over $2000 dollars a month. We expect our business to continue for the next ten years and we predict our year-on-year growth of more than 18%”

An Indian professor said: "For many years, the U.S and Europe have been doing well but it was their lack of moral and ethic that brought them down. The financial crisis in the U.S and European crisis were both based on greed and unethical behaviors of leaders. We have to learn from this lesson to avoid follow them in the same path. It is the time to show leadership to build and sustain human development by having strong education system that not only focus on science and technology but also moral and ethic. It requires commitment and dedication to rebuild our world and it must start with those at the top."


  • Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University

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