With technology taking over many unskilled professions, the high school diploma isn’t worth as much as it once was. Artificial intelligence is taking over some surprising jobs; these jobs are what used to be done by the generally educated, high school graduate. Unless high schools vastly change their curriculums to include programming, web development skills and computer networking, getting a college degree will be virtually mandatory.
As late as the 1970’s, a high school diploma could net you a job with a living wage right after graduation. Computers were just starting to become useful but were not automated yet; they still required an operator to function.
Jump to today and the high school diploma won’t even get your foot into any doors, and computers can run extremely complex programs without further human input. With a high school diploma 40 years ago, a person could get a job as a construction worker and make enough from that single income to support a family and even buy a house. Now in 2018, most households require two incomes just to support a family and afford housing, forget trying this making minimum wage, even with overtime. Trends show that high school only education is on the decline and higher education is on the rise, with good reason. But where have the jobs of the past gone?
Artificial intelligence is taking over a few skilled but mostly unskilled jobs because AI is less expensive in the long run, it doesn’t make mistakes and it doesn’t get tired. Also, even scarier, AI will be taking some other surprising jobs away from people including, but not limited to, farming, taxi drivers, truck drivers, construction workers, actors, journalists, translators, transcribers and even medical professionals. A few of these jobs already require a college degree. AI is still in its infancy, and in the future as AI becomes more advanced more and more jobs will become automated leaving even more people out of work. So, what can be done?
High schools need to change and adapt to deliver more useful skills. It’s not surprising computer related fields are all growing. If a high school diploma meant that its recipient could program a computer or know enough about networking to acquire a cisco certificate, it would make itself relevant again. Until that is the norm across the entire United States, the high school diploma will stay mostly irrelevant unless you want to continue to college to get into a higher paid, more secure career.