My rephrasing of Thomas Friedman’s column today:
“One of the best ways to learn about the changing labor market, if you can’t find a taxi driver to have a conversation with on your way to the airport, is to find some well-connected guy who used to work at Goldman-Sachs, who has a start-up that he’s desperately trying to flog, and let him tell you all about how great his start-up idea is.
If you let that guy write half your column for you, you’ll discover that today’s employers, unlike yesterday’s, would like their employees to have useful skills. And they don’t care where you got your skills from: they’ll be glad to undervalue and underpay you for those skills no matter where they’re from, and discard you like an old toilet paper roll once they’ve decided that they want some other skills.
With some pluck and drive, you can work your way up from the mail room! Oh, wait, those are the old notes. Checking. Ah! Just take the energy to teach yourself neurosurgery, high-tech manufacturing assembly, preparation of petri dish cultures, Python, persuasive analytic writing, and graphic design when you get home from working two different low-wage service jobs, and you’re sure to find an employer looking for those skills who will overlook you because there’s no real way on a resume to show that you’ve acquired those skills through self-study.
Trust me, though, you won’t regret not going to college. In this bold new world where employers actually want people who can do the jobs they’re hiring for, I and my taxi driver can tell you that a world of opportunity awaits if you know the right people at Davos.”