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High School Dropouts and the decline of routine work.

18 Aug

Stamford, Connecticut has put together a task-force of 300 local business, political, and social leaders. This organization is called ‘Reinventing Stamford.’

One of their first publicized reports, ‘Pivot Point,’ highlights local, regional, and national issues that are being faced, and begins to propose solutions. One of the major issues is the state of educating our workforce, increasing their ability to handle the known issues of today and the unknown issues of the future.

In the graphic below, from Pivot Point, you can see the dramatic shift that has occurred in the task content of jobs from 1980 to 1998. Every level of education has seen at least a 10% increased in non-routine cognitive / interactive work. This type of work demands a high Creativity Quotient and ability to practice both convergent and divergent thinking… to understand all the variables affecting a situation and help come up with solutions which make the most of the resources at hand. This is exactly the type of skill that America is losing today, as highlighted in our article on America’s Creativity Crisis.

Change in Task Content of Jobs. This graph shows the change in task content of jobs, by the education level of the worker, from 1980 to 1998. The highest percentage increase towards expert thinking [Non-Routine Cognitive/Analytical] and Complex Communication [Non-Routine Cognitive/Interactive] were in jobs held by workers with only a high-school diploma. Source Murnane and Levy. Routine Cognitive, Routine Manual, Non-Routing Manual, Non-Routine Cognitive-Analytic, Non-Routing Cognitive / Interactive, Annualized Change in Task Measure, High School Dropouts, High School Grads, Some College, College Grads

Research on drawing shows that it is a great way to build up your QC and increase convergent and divergent thinking. So go ahead, and start practicing, and help expose others to working creatively.

Take a look at ‘Pivot Point‘ pages 14 and 15 to learn more.

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