ERIC Number: ED247378
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Oct-24
Education and the High Technology Economy. Working Paper No. 3.
One of the major issues currently facing the United States is the impact of the emerging high-technology economy. Some experts suggest that the economy will require great numbers of very highly educated persons to fill the new high-technology jobs. Others, such as researchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), predict that few highly trained people will actually be needed in a high-technology economy, because, while high-technology jobs will grow by high percentages, the actual numbers of new jobs will be small. The BLS instead expects the economy to require many more low-skilled jobs, such as clerks, waiters/waitresses, secretaries, and retail sales personnel, to work in an increasingly service-oriented economy. However, the BLS's predictions are based on the assumption that the future economy will be similar to the present one, a premise that may not hold true. For example, the BLS expects that many more retail sales persons will be needed, but an upsurge of catalog shopping, and possibly computer shopping, may well cut the number of sales persons needed. On the other hand, the emerging high-technology economy may change some formerly low-skilled jobs to jobs requiring a much higher level of knowledge and skills. For example, the job of secretary has been upgraded substantially by the addition of word processing equipment and computers to offices. With this equipment, fewer secretaries may be needed, but they will fill much more complicated jobs. Therefore, the work force of the future high-technology society may, indeed, need greater levels of education and higher-level skills, and the education establishment must prepare for this necessity. (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.
Note: Paper presented at the National Forum of the College Board (Dallas, TX, October 24, 1983).