New Geography's The Three Laws of Future Employment looks at a mix of issues around future employment with a focus on whether or not we need more STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) graduates.
The part of the article I'm most intrigued by are the 3 laws of future employment. These are:
Law #1: People will get jobs doing things that computers can’t do.
Law #2: A global market place will result in lower pay and fewer opportunities for many careers. (But also in cheaper and better products and a higher standard of living for American consumers.)
Law #3: Professional people will more likely be freelancers and less likely to have a steady job.
There appears to be broad agreement with these 3 laws. The Marginal Revolution blog, for example, argues against some of the article but states "We are in basic agreement about the laws of future employment."
I too am in agreement with the laws.
Related to freelancing, the interesting - and unanswered - question is how extensive will freelancing be?
We think Gene Zanio, CEO of MBO Partners, is correct when he suggests up to half of all U.S. workers will independent in 2020. But I need to disclose MBO Partners is an Emergent Research (that's us) client and we worked with them on the State of Independence Study.
But while we think the number of independent workers will continue to grow, we are in no way forecasting the end of traditional employment or traditional jobs.
Even looking out very long term - 20 or 30 years - we think somewhere between 25% - 40% of workers will have employment relationships that are, or look a lot like, traditional jobs.