During his presidential campaign, President Donald Trump promised to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States. In his first few weeks as President-Elect, he claimed to be instrumental in keeping a Carrier plant stateside.
But is it really practical to assume that manufacturing jobs are going to make a comeback? It doesn’t matter who’s president. The research indicates those jobs aren’t coming back.
In the past, the economy has relied heavily on middle-income jobs that require mid-level skills. However, these jobs are routine and can be replaced by automation. These types of jobs have been disappearing at an increasing rate during the past three decades.
It’s called “labor market polarization,” and it impacts more than just factories. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, routine, middle-skill, middle-income jobs will continue to disappear as technology improves.
When looking for the best jobs for millennials, it’s a good idea to understand what types of jobs are disappearing. Stop looking back to a bygone era of jobs. Instead, develop skills for the jobs likely to survive the continued march toward automation.
Which jobs are disappearing?
When you look at routine middle-wage jobs that are disappearing, it helps to use the following grid from the Dallas Fed:
As you can see, it’s divided into skill level. It also compares blue collar and white collar jobs. In the past, these types of routine jobs offered the chance for a wide swath of the population to access jobs that would put them squarely in the middle class.
The types of jobs that are disappearing are those that can increasingly be done by some sort of technology; for example, mass production in factories, as well as clerical and administrative jobs like bank tellers. Even sales jobs are on the decline, thanks to online selling.
Research from Ball State University indicates that 85 percent of the job loss in manufacturing is due to automation. Additionally, Boston Consulting Group points out a human welder costs an employer about $25 per hour, while a robot can do the same job for $8 per hour.
It’s not hard to extrapolate similar cost savings to routine white collar jobs. Online banking and ATMs mean fewer human tellers are needed. The growth in apps that can take care of a lot of administrative work, from scheduling appointments to managing payroll, also means a decreased need for humans to do this work.
So far, automation hasn’t completely replaced human efforts. However, the rise in the use of technology for some of the routine middle-skill cognitive work of the world means that fewer humans are needed to fulfill these roles.
What are the best jobs for millennials?
The important thing is to remain relevant as a human. The report from the Dallas Fed points out that those most likely to succeed are those willing to upgrade their skills.
With labor market polarization, it’s all about nonroutine jobs. Naturally, nonroutine low-skill jobs are likely to pay less than high-skill jobs. You don’t necessarily need a four-year degree to succeed in this new job market, though. Instead, the focus is on skills and the kinds of jobs that are hard to automate.
Adviser group Young Invincibles released a report in 2015 that includes some of the best jobs for millennials. As you look at the list, you’ll see that not everything requires an advanced degree:
Dental hygienists, elevator installers and repairers, and public relations specialists might not need to go to school for a long time to qualify for their jobs.
What about skilled labor and STEM?
In 2016, The Conference Board released resources looking at the expectation of skilled labor shortages in different industries and regions of the United States. These skilled labor positions offer millennials and others the chance to earn middle-income wages without the need for a four-year degree.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics points out that there are some STEM jobs available that might not require advanced degrees:
In certain cases, it does not even matter whether a candidate has a bachelor’s degree in a specific area: companies are looking for candidates with hands-on experience in software development through “hack-a-thons,” extracurricular projects, and internships. These anecdotal accounts are supported by a falling unemployment rate for software developers, from 4 percent in 2011 to 2.8 percent in 2012 and down to 2.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013. Also, the recent “big data” trend has sparked demand for data scientists in all areas, from health care to retail.
What’s really cool is that some of these jobs don’t require you to be in the office all day. The Society for Human Resource Management points out that telecommuting is on the rise.
How to stay relevant in your career
Look for nonroutine work in areas that are likely to see rising demand if you hope to remain relevant. Health care professions, skilled labor that involves the ability to repair machinery, and programming jobs are likely to remain viable in the coming years.
Additionally, according to the Pew Research Center, occupations that require higher social or analytical skills are in demand. Employment and wages are growing in these types of jobs. If you want to remain relevant, developing your social and analytical skills is vital.
Prepare for the future of work
Are you doing routine work and earning an average income? Watch out. Your job could be next. Tweak your skills or go back to school to complete a certification (without getting a degree).
Now is the time to prepare for the future of work. However, this doesn’t mean you have to get an advanced degree or even a four-year degree. The Pew data indicates that Americans aren’t convinced that college is the best way forward for everyone.
The best jobs for millennials are those that let them develop the skills likely to be in demand in the future. As you prepare for the future, look for a career that a robot can’t easily do.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
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2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Savings example: average savings calculated based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were disclosed. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
Application detail: 5 minutes indicates typical time it takes to complete application with applicant information readily available. It does not include time taken to provide underwriting decision or funding of the loan.
Instant rates mean a delivery of personalized rates for those individuals who provide sufficient information to return a rate. For instant rates a soft credit pull will be conducted, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
Total savings calculated by aggregating individual average savings across total borrower population from 9/2013 to 12/2017. Individual average savings calculation based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were provided. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit SoFi|
|2.47% – 5.87%1||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Earnest|
|2.47% – 8.03%4||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Lendkey|
|2.95% – 6.37%2||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Laurel Road|
|2.48% – 6.25%5||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit CommonBond|
|2.72% – 8.32%6||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Citizens|