Next Blue-Collar Revolution Has Already Arrived

It's computer coding, writes a columnist at Wired
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2017 10:17 AM CST
Next Blue-Collar Revolution Has Already Arrived

It's a common complaint: Decent-paying blue-collar jobs are disappearing across the US and thus putting the middle class in danger. Not so fast, writes Clive Thompson at Wired. While it's true that jobs we traditionally think of as blue collar are dwindling, he makes the case that the next big thing in blue-collar employment is already upon us: computer coding. It's high time we ditched our typical image of a coder as that of some mysterious, hoodie-clad genius type doing undoubtedly epochal things via the keyboard. "What if we regarded code not as a high-stakes, sexy affair, but the equivalent of skilled work at a Chrysler plant?"

Yes, the coding world would still need "superstars," those with a deep understanding of algorithms to blaze new paths. But the vast majority of coders wouldn't need to operate on that level. "Any blue-collar coder will be plenty qualified to sling Java­Script for their local bank," writes Thompson, and that would translate into a "solidly middle-class" salary. Changing the mindset could result in big changes about who pursues such jobs—think vocational coding classes in high school or months-long training courses for adults who switch careers mid-stream. Let's stop focusing on the Zuckerberg-type exceptions, writes Thompson. "The real heroes are people who go to work every day and turn out good stuff—whether it’s cars, coal, or code." Click for the full column. (More jobs stories.)

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