What’s Hot? What’s Not.
What’s Hot? What’s Not.
EACE Blog contribution by Louis V. Gaglini, Associate Director for Employer Relations & Recruiting at the Boston College Career Center
As we pass the half-way point in the calendar, I came across the latest list of “The 10 Most Endangered Jobs for the Year 2014”. Such reflective, predictive, and forward-looking lists are published regularly by government agencies, news outlets, and business authors. Usually quick and informative reading – then we move on to the business of the day.
Regardless of its accuracy, what struck me about the latest report of “Endangered Jobs” as told by CareerCast was that the majority of the jobs are being replaced by technology. From newspaper reporter to tax examiner to travel agent, technology has replaced paper. Believe it or not, “lumberjack” was on the same endangered list as “mail carrier”. Of course, it makes perfect sense that less production and distribution of paper products would translate into fewer trees being felled. By the way, when planning my most recent trips for business or pleasure, I never met with a traditional travel agent and couldn’t even tell you the name of a person I dealt with or where they were sitting when we interacted (if it was at all necessary). It was all online – fast, efficient, accurate and paperless. The phone in my hand held my boarding passes for me.
However, if we look beyond the “endangered” list, what about the new jobs that have been created with the advent and proliferation of technology? Let’s tilt the kaleidoscope and see that a downturn in some areas can mean upward trends in others. Many marketing brochures and new product announcements may have been replaced by “Search Engine Optimization” (a job that didn’t exist 10 years ago). Mail and photographs have been replaced by social media. Machinery has been replaced by automation in most factories. Change is inevitable, and entry-level talent in the marketplace has the opportunity to embrace new skills, jobs, and careers that go along with change and new technologies to meet the market demands created by these changes. Sure, we may have lost some high-touch quality along the way, but the train has been moving fast for some time and is heading in only one direction right now. Either get on board or get out of the way. Incidentally, we still ride trains every day – it just takes a different type of “Engineer” to build them and to drive them.
Another thought when we see these lists is what may be happening in other parts of the world, especially in developing countries where technology has not yet established itself to the degree we see here in the U.S. Perhaps those who wish to seek careers in printing, newspaper publishing or even forestry could find those opportunities overseas in undeveloped or developing areas of the world if that is the work they wish to perform and have the skills to excel.
So, when the next list of jobs, occupations, and careers that are on the decline is published, ask your students to pull back the curtain to see what new technologies await on the other side. They may be pleasantly surprised and equally excited about the opportunities!
Louis Gaglini is the Associate Director of Employer Relations at the Boston College Career Center. Lou has over 20 years of leadership experience in talent acquisition, placement, staffing and employment with proven expertise in strategy, design, and delivery of programs of all sizes. He is court qualified Vocational Expert in Employability & Hireability.
Lou is a former Assistant Professor of Cooperative Education within Northeastern University’s College of Business Administration. His corporate experience includes five years with the international professional services firm of Deloitte & Touche LLP, initially as Director of Recruiting in the Boston office and subsequently as National Manager of Campus Recruiting in its Worldwide Headquarters. He also served as a Senior Consultant and HR Manager with Polaroid, redesigning and launching new recruiting programs and other talent acquisition initiatives. Lou received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University and a Masters in Public Administration from Northeastern University.