An excellent article about how expanding college is not the answer to more employment.
The article points out that universities are not really teaching much and also that many growing jobs do not need bachelor degrees.
I agree with the author, simply putting more people to college is not the answer. The solution is to equip the individuals to be able to make money.
One way to help people gain skills is using online classes. Coursera, edX, Udacity, and other online education platform provide great courses from the top professors already. However, the issue that these MOOCs are mostly used by people who are already educated. So basically people with a job and a master degree is learning more. As a result, it will not be surprising if skill gap increases, which results in higher wage gaps as well.
Another solution offered is the development of technical schools. Germany is renowned to have great apprenticeships. Preparing students at young age and generating experts. This model has promises. However, let’s remember that Germany had this system for many years and for other countries to emulate this approach will take some time. Plus, there is a high possibility that it might not work in certain societies or cultures.
Basic income has also been proposed as an alternative. Give individuals under certain income money so they decide how to use that money. Money transfers have shown to work in field work in developing nations. However, it is an empirical question whether it would work in developed nations. Finland is running a basic income pilot so we will find out.
It seems like that all of the solutions above have issues and may take some time to be implemented. So what can individuals do?
Here are some suggestions.
- Time to use those MOOCs. Yup, study Coursera, edX, and whatever online resource that can help you attain new skills.
- Gig economy. The pay is not be as high as one desires. But it is still money. Think of working multiple gigs from Uber to TaskRabbit. A good combination will provide certain income and bring diversification to your income stream.
- Be frugal. Time to cut down on cost. Less eating out and less splurges. The money saved will be help you a lot in the future.
- Save! Save! Save! The world is becoming so competitive and uncertain. Now it is really important to save and save more for a rainy day.
- Consider living abroad to lower cost. There is no necessity to live in place. Consider living abroad in countries where cost of living is lower. You can work online through platforms such as upwork and have a decent life. Of course, living abroad is not easy and being a digital nomad is not easy either but it may work.
- Start investing. Need to diversify income and get any income possible. The good news is that now we have platforms like WealthFront and Betterment that provide automatic diversification at a low cost.
- Be more loving! This sounds weird but be more loving and generous. God will repay back your love and kindness. So dedicate your time to serve your family and neighbors. Helping does not only bring joy to other but also to you. So always love, love, and love 😀