Thomas Friedman expounded on this notion in his March 30 New York Times Oped column titled, “Need a Job? Invent it.” Quoting Tony Wagner, the author of “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World,” Friedman writes:
“… knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know. The capacity to innovate — the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life — and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic knowledge.”
In his new book, “What’s the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences,” Brian Solis drops this data bomb:
Only 7% of Gen Y works for a Fortune 500 Company, as startups dominate this demographic.
Solis’ revelation dovetails with a body of work produced by one of the largest foundations studying entrepreneurship trends in America.
The Kauffman Foundation reports that, since 1980, nearly all net new job growth in America was due to startups.
In 2004, the Pew Charitable Trust released a report titled, “Economic Mobility: Is the American Dream Alive and Well?” The overall findings of the report revealed that men in their thirties in 1974 had a median income of $40,000 while men of the same age in 2004 had a median income of $35,000. Adjusted for inflation, the drop of 12 percent from one generation to the next was unprecedented.
For Gen E, the writing is on the wall: Create your own job.
The Davis family exemplifies a national trend toward freelancers, entrepreneurs and independent workers, who are projected to be the majority of the workforce as early as 2030.
Over the next decade, creating jobs may be the job for which every student must be prepared.
Mike Green is a Medford-based writer and a co-founder of the America21 Project. He is also the founder of Saving Americas Black Boys campaign.