Academically, North America, The Time Has Come To Buckle-Down!

The new school year is about to start; kids of all ages return to elementary, secondary, or post-secondary institutions. As North American society enters the new academic year, it’s time for parents to buckle down and make the hard decisions for their children. Students must be coerced to take, be excited, and excel in taking STEM classes and programs. The World is changing so fast, and the masses with average skills will be left behind in the future. While it remains true that one could graduate with something like a sociology, psychology, or fine arts degree, and that person could still obtain a “decent” job, this just won’t be the case in the future. This is not an attack on those degrees; I just graduated from university with a liberal arts degree in political science and disaster and emergency management; the World will always need people who have obtained any of the degrees just mentioned. The problem is that as populations rise and more of the masses have degrees in liberal arts and humanities rather than STEM, it will be challenging to get a decent job.  Not impossible, just highly challenging!

Academically, North America-us-mileniostadium
The Boston robotics Dog. Credit: Boston/Twitter

For those of you who don’t know, STEM stands for classes and degrees related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. If you are sitting there and reading this and asking yourself why STEM is important, I have already laid that out; more of the masses take liberal arts, which will make it more challenging in the future. Robotics is taking over at an alarmingly fast pace, and people either don’t care or, worse, aren’t aware. The electronic cash registers vastly outweigh the human-operated ones now at Wal-Mart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Home Depot, Dollarama. I don’t want this to sound wrong, but that’s okay; it’s not a job a person with any degree would have unless they love to do it.  The point is that hundreds to thousands of people in local communities are being replaced by technology. They will still need to find work to have a life. Those people will be out and about on the hunt for a better job, or if they don’t have a degree, will go back to school, most likely for a liberal arts degree than a STEM one.

Society is no longer decades away from autonomous vehicles; human Uber drivers will be a thing of the past, cab drivers too. I get it, not necessarily degree jobs, but jobs nonetheless being replaced by machines, forcing those people to seek new skills, flooding an already flooded job market. Even police, firefighting, and military will see their human numbers decline because of the technological benefits of robots and artificial intelligence.  A Robocop or Terminator soldier once entirely science fiction must still be decades away, right? No, it’s years away!  That’s a good thing, a robot soldier going through a door first, who might never fall after being shot a hundred times, a robot police dog that can run faster than a cheetah, intercepting criminals, not being able to be killed by a bullet. Less death and sadness agreed, but the trade-off will be fewer average skilled jobs.

The Boston Robotics “Dog” pictured above is already available to the public to purchase as “pets.” Corporations buy them because they can go to places and perform tasks humans can’t, especially in disasters. For example, radiation deadly to you and me doesn’t stop them; Ontario Power has these stationed in their nuclear plants. Again, there will always be people to complement these technological jobs. Still, one cashier to oversee ten registers will save corporations millions rather than having ten cashiers manage ten registers.  There will always be human soldiers and human police, but their numbers may be smaller due to robots carrying the brunt of the dangerous work.

STEM should no longer be seen as geeky, nerdy, or dull; it should be seen as a necessity for survival but be fun in the younger grades of education. This North American problem of making school seem like a choir needs to end, and it needs to end now. China is not sitting around on its backside, doing nothing. China has seen the writing on the wall, and since it has a population triple the size of North America, that should raise an eyebrow or two. Twenty years ago in America, about 500,000 bachelor’s degrees in Science and Engineering fields were awarded. In China, it was about 360,000. Keep in mind the population sizes as well. China’s population is triple that of the United States. Fast forward to more recent times, say the past five years or so, America awarded 750,000 Science and Engineering degrees. China, are you ready for this: 1.7 million; whereas America jumped 50%, China jumped nearly 400% within two decades. This should really start to raise concerns!  How many millions of Chinese will migrate to America with STEM degrees? What’s even crazier about this is that China just doubled down on its war on video games for children. This week, children are no longer allowed to play video games Monday to Thursday; they can only play them one hour Friday, one hour Saturday, and one hour Sunday and holidays. The idea is to get the idea for the Chinese is to have students focus on their studies at an earlier age. Imagine Trudeau trying to pull that maneuver here; Canada would go into civil war, judging by how many people are anti-government these days.

     Earlier in the summer, I was at a friend’s place, and his daughter came outside, she’s around 11, and a question was posed to her on what she wanted to be. She said, “I want to be an artist.” The response from her father, not meaning to intimidate, was: “okay, how do you plan to pay your bills and live a comfortable life?”Honestly, it’s a question most children should be asked. It is a question every parent should ask their kids and themselves.  The fact is there isn’t an industry that won’t see its numbers affected by technology over the next two decades. Some will be hit much harder than others, and there will be a much larger pool of people fighting for average skilled jobs.

For North American parents, the time has come to bring strictness back to the world of academics for their children and less freedom of choice. The future comes quickly!

It’s time to buckle down North America.

Adam Care/MS

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