The survey, performed by Morning Consult and commissioned by Amazon, found a majority of those job seekers want to move into new industries to stay relevant.
Survey says! It's still 2020<p><span>The survey was commissioned by Amazon in advance of </span><a href="https://www.amazoncareerday.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">its 2020 Career Day</a><span>, the mega-corporation's nationwide hiring event. Career Day provides attendees the opportunity to attend fireside chats with career experts, receive one-on-one career coaching, and apply to work at various Amazon positions, while simultaneously filling the company's coffers with resumes. According to Amazon, last year's event saw 17,000 job seekers attend across six U.S. cities. This year, the event has gone digital.</span></p><p>"COVID-19 continues to affect millions of people across the country, and people are eager for the opportunity to get back to work," Beth Galetti, Amazon's senior vice president of human resources, said in <a href="https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200909005618/en/Amazon-Announces-Career-Day-2020-33000-Corporate" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a release</a>. "We're continuing to hire people from all backgrounds and at all skill levels, and we're glad to be able to mobilize our team of experienced recruiters and HR professionals to help job seekers across the country learn about opportunities at Amazon and elsewhere."</p><p>For the event, Amazon commissioned Morning Consult to take a survey of the changing job hunt dynamics and then <a href="https://blog.aboutamazon.com/job-creation-and-investment/amazon-announces-career-day-2020" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">posted the highlights on its blog</a>. The results showed that 53 percent of job seekers are on the hunt because of the coronavirus pandemic.</p><p>Unless you're a <a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/131016-otzi-ice-man-mummy-five-facts/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">prehistoric ice man</a>, frozen in time since the halcyon days 2019, these results will hardly be surprising. Unemployment plunged to unprecedented levels in April of this year, a direct consequence of economic shutdowns enacted to repress the transmission of novel coronavirus. Spotty as they were, those shutdowns may have <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-economy-shutdown-coronavirus-saved-2-7-million-lives/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">saved 2.7 million lives</a>; however, many furloughed <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/03/nearly-half-of-workers-believe-temporary-layoff-will-become-permanent.html#:~:text=Work-,Nearly%20half%20of%20all%20furloughed%20workers%20now,temporary%20layoff%20will%20become%20permanent&text=In%20April%2C%20roughly%202%20in,jobs%20within%20a%20few%20months." target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">workers believe those temporary layoffs have become permanent</a>. For others, they have.</p>
Did coronavirus kick start the future of work?<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e86d207511b7cf45dca553b1e0812a0e"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AO0B2onfP9I?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The survey's more interesting findings inform on how job seekers have been approaching their search. About a third of those surveyed believe their current work did not utilize either their skills or training, and 61 percent are actively looking for work in a different industry. Industries singled out include healthcare and technology.</p><p>To stay relevant, these job seekers are also seeking opportunities to gain new skills. The survey found that nearly a third of them believe technical skills will a key factor in a successful search. Nearly half would change jobs if their new employer offered upskill training.</p><p>These results provide a clue that <a href="https://bigthink.com/coronavirus/universal-basic-income-coronavirus" target="_self">the pandemic may have accelerated predicted employment trends</a> of the 21<sup>st</sup>-century. Many experts have warned that automation and other technological advancements have the potential to take millions of jobs from human workers. Kalus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, dubbed this seismic shift the Fourth Industrial Revolution. </p><p>As noted by the World Economic Forum in its "<a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2018.pdf" target="_blank">The Future of Jobs Report 2018</a>": "There are complex feedback loops between new technology, jobs and skills. New technologies can drive business growth, job creation and demand for specialist skills but they can also displace entire roles when certain tasks become obsolete or automated."</p><p>Preparations and prescriptions recommended by these experts have varied. Former Democratic president candidate <a href="https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/andrew-yang-2639022603" target="_self">Andrew Yang</a> proposed a <a href="https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/universal-basic-income?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1" target="_self">universal basic income</a>. Others, <a href="https://bigthink.com/kenzie-academy/software-engineering-school" target="_self">like the World Economic Forum and Kenzie Academy</a>, support innovative education and upskilling efforts to teach workers the hard and soft skills necessary to compete in a tech-driven market. </p><p>This forecast looks eerily similar to <a href="https://bigthink.com/coronavirus/skills-needed-for-a-job?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1" target="_self">a post-COVID-19 one</a>. With the pandemic scattering employees to the four winds, and home offices, employers are increasingly <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/06/22/small-business-tech-pandemic/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">turning to technology to survive</a>. Tech-focused companies, like Amazon, are <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/23/technology/coronavirus-facebook-amazon-youtube.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">thriving</a>. <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2017/05/03/the-future-of-jobs-and-jobs-training/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">These companies need workers</a> who can work alongside technology and cultivate the skills machines and AI cannot easily replicate.</p><p>This survey suggests that many of today's job seekers have intuited this paradigm shift. Hopefully, the resources and infrastructure will be available to help people develop their capacity and make the post-COVID-19 job market a more promising one.</p>
Who needs student loans, health care and mortgages?
COVID-19 may strengthen the case for universal basic income, or an idea like it.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown millions of Americans into unemployment, highlighting the impracticality of living paycheck to paycheck, which a shocking number of Americans must do. Yet pandemic unemployment is just a glimpse of the fallout the US can expect in a future where more and more jobs are automated.
- Is universal basic income the answer? In this video, a range of experts from economists to entrepreneurs and historians explore different facets of basic income, like why we need it, how it's different to welfare, and how we'll pay for it.
- Yanis Varoufakis, Greece's former Minister of Finance, explains why he's not in favor of a UBI tax, but rather the creation of a public equity fund: "[T]hese days capital is socially produced ... Take for instance ... the capital stock of Google. To a large extent it is produced by all of us. Every time we search something on the Google search engine, we are adding to the capital stock of Google. This is not just a consumer transaction. So, if capital is socially produced why are the returns to capital privatized? On what basis?"
What's your favorite argument for (or against) UBI? Let us know in the comments!
The Silicon Valley titan has promised scholarships for its tech-focused certificate courses alongside $10 million in job training grants.
An improved educational pipeline?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ2MTkxMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NDYyMTg5MX0.TVNqimPHbfhkKlIN9DTP5yp2pIawOnw3wY8JftScL7Q/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=19%2C0%2C40%2C0&height=700" id="97f7f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9604c323cf271eea7f9e8280560522ac" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="color-coded jobs versus education chart" />
A chart showing the increase and decrease of "good jobs" based on level of education required.
An improved educational pipeline?<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="77b5b15734c284f2a93fc07f568490b6"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QQYm_XI8n20?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The need for middle-skills will grow as the American workforce continues to digitize at an extraordinary rate. <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/research/digitalization-and-the-american-workforce/" target="_blank">According to the Brookings Institution</a>, in 2002 just 5 percent of jobs studied—which covered 90 percent of the workforce—required high-digital skills while 40 percent required medium-level skills. By 2016, that percentage rose to 23 and 48 respectively. In the same period, jobs requiring low-digital skills fell precipitously, from 56 to 30 percent. Beyond rapid job growth and competitive advantage, those with the skills are set to reap the economic rewards.</p><p>But more needs to be done. </p><p>As of this writing, more than 275,000 people have enrolled in Google's IT Support course, but it's unclear how many companies will accept the certificate as proof of capability. While Google and its <a href="https://grow.google/employers/" target="_blank">Employer Consortium</a>, a group of employers who connect with Google to find prospective candidates, may consider the certificate equivalent to a four-year degree, <a href="https://www.ziprecruiter.com/blog/do-employers-take-massive-open-online-courses-seriously/" target="_blank">MOOC certifications lack the universality</a> of either associate's or bachelor's degrees. <a href="https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED571496.pdf" target="_blank">Without mainstream acceptance</a>, graduates may be contending with each other within a puddle of prospective companies, not the vast, oceanic marketplace of corporate America.</p><p>And the COVID-19 pandemic hasn't halted but accelerated digitalization as companies widely adopt new <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/16/the-coronavirus-fueled-tech-trends-that-will-continue-to-dominate.html" target="_blank">technological trends to survive</a>. Many of the 20 million unemployed Americans may suddenly need to upskill or even find their jobs outsourced to the digital realm. They'll need a quick, yet employer recognized, means to acquire new skills to help find work. </p><p>Ten million dollars will buy Google—a company valued at <a href="https://www.marketwatch.com/story/google-parent-alphabet-joins-1-trillion-in-market-value-for-first-time-2020-01-16" target="_blank">one trillion dollars</a>—a nice commemorative brick in the path to a solution and hopefully help many lives. But we have many miles of work to go.</p>
Data from LinkedIn suggests soft skills will be the most in-demand as the economy begins to rebuild and 2020 grads look for work.
Soft skills in demand<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM3MzMxMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNjMxMjk3OX0.FjLhT9mh5zbWdpxxpyDSfRz6jNp-wE9MqDa4G72i2kI/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C108%2C0%2C108&height=700" id="1d46c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4b57a037eb0b6516db62b60eb89c6195" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Today's graduates face the worst job market since the Great Depression, one new influx of job seekers will further burden.
Six skills for your career toolkit<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM3MzMxMy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NjQ5MDIxMX0._XVD_BO6BoxjCp8A7wM33FonrzCJJ1P9PZ417lr7n-o/img.jpg?width=980" id="3b8a1" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="dd903b2732ad0d6f90a5d5482c111c7b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
A graph showing U.S. unemployment skyrocket in April 2020 among the economic shutdown.