Should we hold back technology to protect the unskilled workforce? Since the beginning of time, people have made and used tools to make everyday life simpler. The car was a major breakthrough for transporting people as well as goods and services. The conveyor belt also helped production rates for manufacturing, allowing the work force to finish goods almost 10 times faster. The workforce benefits with new technology, some may argue that new technology hurts the workforce. Colleges and universities provided the necessary training for potential employees to be able to embrace technological changes.
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Vocational training also provides potential employees with the tools needed to survive the technological changes. It is important to note that some people are not able to pursue the continued education necessary to work in an industry where technological changes are rapid. We should not hold back technology to protect the unskilled workforce. Technological advances allow for companies to do and make goods better and faster, and hopefully those companies will pass on that cost savings to consumers. If businesses hold on until everyone is able to survive in a technological world, we may never modernize our processes. We should not hold back technology to protect the unskilled workforce, because it is easier now, than ever before to get an education. In today’s society more and more people are attending a college or a university to further their education. Women as well as minorities are able to pursue opportunities that were previously not available.
Additionally, more people are attending college later in life, or while working a day job. These individuals enrolled in post-high school education, are learning about new technological advances and how to adapt to even more advances that will happen when they arrive in the workplace. Employers are willing to pay top dollar for a fully skilled worker to enter the workforce. This concept helps to encourage people to pursue higher education. One may argue the opposite: not everyone can afford to go to college. College is expensive and the cost seems to rise every semester. Student loans are also difficult to obtain and interest rates are high too. Furthermore, some students are not encouraged to attend college, based on their family environment and socioeconomic status. While everyone may not be able to go to college, more people are able to attend than before. Many high schools offer vocational trainings and programs that allow students to obtain trades and skills, without even having to go to college, which allows them to be successful in the workplace.
Computer technology is one of the most common advancements in the workplace. Many school systems post homework on-line and require students to regularly use Microsoft Office. It should be mandatory that high-school curriculums teach the latest technologies, so the students are prepared to enter the workforce, whether or not they attend college. The younger generation also uses cell phones, tablets, and MP3 players, so their ability to adapt to change happens socially as well. Technology is constantly changing (Weiss et al 10), so just because someone goes to college and is considered “skill,” a new advancement may quickly make them unskilled. We should not hold back technology from the workforce just because employees are “outdated”. If we would have held back making and producing the car, car technology would not be as advanced as it is today. The conveyer belt helped us in the production of goods. If we didn’t have the conveyer belt, where would we be at today?
Advancements in technology in the workplace has helped us to work from home via telecommuting/internet, as well as sending large files via email from remote areas in the world to the corporate office in the big city in minutes (Weiss et al 7). If we had waited for these advancements in the workplace, we would still be sending files through the postal service allowing three to five business days to arrive.
These technological advancements save time and money, but they also increase overall employee productivity (Joseph). It is argued that machines replace people because they can do better work than people (Weiss et al 9). Unfortunately, people may feel unnecessary or irrelevant as employers begin to upgrade their work processes. It is important for employers to make sure they take care of these employees by offering internal training and other opportunities for those individuals to increase their skill level or to find new opportunities, which do not require an increased skill set. Ultimately, businesses evolve, and we as individuals must either learn to adapt, or be left behind. We may start out as skilled, but with a blink of an eye, we may become “unskilled” and technology doesn’t wait for anyone, so neither should a company.