Saturday, September 11, 2004

The New Blue Collar?

Howdy all. I'm Mary McCoy, slogging and blogging through my last year of SLIS, yet still trying to get my head around what it means to be an information professional. Something that's been on my mind quite a bit lately is the nagging suspicion that, in its present state, higher education isn't quite equipped to prepare students for the information economy. Medicine? Law? Biochemistry? Higher education has those fields pretty well mapped out. Library education, however, seems to occupy this nebulous area somewhere in between academia and tech school, and is possibly not doing either side justice.

I almost felt guilty signing up for this class - kept thinking 'shouldn't you be learning how to build a database or something practical that you're equally uninterested in?' In the end, I was seduced by the reading list.

Other reasons I'm in this course? Low-skill white collar may be the new blue collar, and I'd like to know more about the implications of this (or if I'm even right about that idea at all). What happens when a large pool of young, college-educated workers earn less and have fewer benefits than the generations before them who may have entered the work force armed only with a high school diploma? Also, what happens as this new pool of workers ages? My father has had the same job since he was 24, and now, is just a couple years away from retiring young with full benefits. Can't think of a single soul my own age who's headed for such a life - not even the responsible, career/money-oriented ones. Is the class of 2005 doomed?

And with that cheery thought, enjoy your Saturday morning coffee.

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