Back in June I went off to New York City for a good friend's 40th birthday.
It was like the anti-Vegas guy's trip.
Instead of screaming at each other over loud music at the various Vegas bars, this was more about conversations at great restaurants.
I even managed to get up early each morning and go for walks... it was awesome.
Or I'm old.
Not sure which.
The topic of the economy came up repeatedly, and after the trip it got me thinking about my children.
You see, the guys I was travelling with own a staffing company that is doing really well, extremely well in fact.
And over the last dozen years, I've noticed a massive trend in large companies going to either "temp workers" or "outsourcing to India" or to "contractors".
In the software and finance world, this is happening at a super fast rate.
I'm no expert but it's obvious to me that this is part of the reason... along with technology itself... that corporations are sitting on bucket loads of cash.
And their increased profits are part of the reason the stock market is at record levels.
This presents an interesting problem.
Because, in exchange for these profits, it's completely destroying middle class jobs.
It's our very strong belief that the next five, ten and fifteen years are going to present major challenges for people who cannot adjust to this.
We both vividly recall when our friends and their parent's... who have known us for decades... told us that we were crazy to leave our high paying jobs.
It was too risky.
But today it seems the tide has turned.
And many haven't noticed yet.
Going to school, especially University, with no plan other than to graduate and "get a job" may not look so appealing in short order... if not already.
If you have a fifteen year old today, by the time they finish University, it'll be 2020.
Our money says that there aren't going to be "job fairs" at Universities looking for a general University education.
An arts degree, or even a general science degree, isn't going to be worth very much in the marketplace... if anything.
As employers ourselves, we're in need of people with some SKILLS.
It also seems obvious to us that a career of 30-40 years at one company is already a pipe dream... that boat has sailed.
Our children better be prepared to be self reliant.
They better know how to show their value in the market.
They better know how to make some money all by themselves... without the help of a job, or a company.
Skills like getting people to websites, selling stuff in person or online, marketing strategies that can be applied to any business... those are the survival skills.
They can go off and follow their passion, but they better know how to close a sale to fund their journey.
And the last time we checked, Universities weren't teaching that.
By pushing our kids into University, with no other preparation for the real world, we may be doing them a massive disservice.
We may be teaching them to read, write, and think critically, but we're surely not teaching them how to support themselves financially, how to invest, how the financial system works, how to create a lifestyle they enjoy.
Maybe instead of forcing them to take first year calculus, we should be forcing them to watch ABC's TV show Shark Tank.
If they walk into a job after University, what happens after 5 years when that company lays them off, changes direction, moves to Asia, streamlines its workforce, outsources everything?
If we can forecast forward 10-15-20 years and anticipate less middle class jobs and more "temp" and "contract" jobs, because of technology and globalization, then why are we sending our kids to an institution that prepares them for the middle class?
If our children go to University it sure won't be with the hopes it will help them get and keep a job.
Until next time... Your Life! Your Terms!