The Reality of Future Career Business

Subject: Globalization
Pages: 5
Words: 1482
Reading time:
6 min
Study level: PhD

Introduction

Globalisation has eased the way people communicate following the recent past immense development in the telephony and internet technologies. Indeed, globalisation, which is enhanced by technological development, has altered the manner in which people currently work and/or do business within and between countries. Today, customised financial management applications have been developed to execute this work automatically. Such a phenomenon would occur in the fields that are still dominated by human decision makers. Guided by this reasoning, this paper holds that a high probability exists that having college education in business and economics, which is my career option, may not guarantee that I will get a sustainable well paying job because technology is expected to become sophisticated to the level of executing most of what graduates would expect to do.

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Future Career Reality in the changing Work Environment

In the article, ‘White-collar Turn Blue’, Krugman (1996) asserts that in case an economy develops the capacity to do a certain thing in the best way possible, the thing in question becomes of little importance. To fit in an information-based 21st-century job market, employees will require retraining to fit in the new job environment as defined by the current determinant of their effectiveness, namely, information technology. In 20 years to come, an important question for business and economics students will be whether a new game changer for the job market would arise to redefine the future work environment. This presumption may be the case in the current globalised and rapidly changing work environment.

Technology and the shift towards low-cost production strategies have lowered the chances for college education, especially the business and economics career option, to function as a sure way of securing a job, currently and in the future, say 20 years to come. One of the important areas where business and economics students would be anticipated to work is in analysis and monitoring of current and future production systems to warrant their optimal performance. Indeed, the current international trade is marked by the emergence of new phenomena such as off shoring (Blinder 2006). It refers to transferring jobs from wealthy to poor nations while living behind people who have been doing them. One of the major changes that organisations consider in the effort to gain competitive advantage is the adoption of cost-cutting strategies such as outsourcing (Kathawala, Zhan, & Shao 2005; Ross 2009). Off shoring has been possible due to the development of technology that ensures real time tracking of operations of offshore companies in the US. Therefore, companies located in the US, but having their production systems offshore, can execute their operations effectively with support staff drawn from low-cost nations. This situation, which is expected to worsen in the future as more technological advancements arise, has limited the possibility of having a college education degree in business and economics to secure a job in a high-cost economy such as the US.

Labour cost amounts to a significant portion of the total charge for a product. To reduce the cost of products that are offered for sale in the global markets, organisations seek strategies for ensuring that their product prices are low enough (Hill, Cronk, & Wickramasekera 2011). In this quest, apart from outsourcing manufacturing, western nations’ organisations are outsourcing even services such as customer care by transferring call centres in nations where living standards are lower (Mucha 2003; McCormack 2011). Such transfers are only possible with effective communication technologies, which permit fast transfer of connections between the US and customer care centres that are located thousands of miles away in foreign nations. Transfer of such services implies a reduction of people who are required to carry out local businesses and economic tasks such as preparation of financial statements and management of employee affairs. This case amounts to lose of jobs in some nations that have high cost of labour, including the US. How then can a student regard college educational attainment in business and economics as a means to a secure future job? His or her future job may be taken offshore to a nation that has a higher comparative advantage in doing it due to the development of technologies that enhance real time connectivity between nations.

In the next 20 years, a business and economics student will not be sure of whether having a college education will guarantee a well-paid job. Justification for this opinion is already evident following the emergence of protean careers. King (2004) asserts that when organisational life ends up being turbulent or unpredictable, individual career management becomes the only appropriate mechanism for ensuring navigation through the world of confusion. De Vos and Soens (2008) and Hall (2004) confirm that the concept of protean career is important for the survival of employees during the turbulence. A protean workplace is marked by high job insecurity to the extent that employees cannot consider themselves having a life-long career (Hall 2004). Hence, although a business and economics job opportunity may be available today, one cannot have an assurance that it will be accessible the following day. Consequently, having a college education in business and economics, especially one, which is not consistently upgraded to meet the emerging future needs and changes, is not a guarantee for having a secure job in the future.

Despite the fact that business and economics students are trained with the current state of technology in the business field in mind, such technologies are subject to change due to their dynamism. Although an organisation may train and develop its employees to ensure they can perform their traditional duties in the future technological business environment, such an attempt may not be feasible upon its costs and benefit analysis (Chiaburu, Baker, & Pitairu 2006). Consequently, cheaper alternatives such as hiring new business and economics experts who are already conversant with such new technologies and laying off of redundant employees may be favourable to an organisation. Therefore, relying on the current college education in business and economics attainment as a guaranteed source of job security in the future is a misplaced idea.

Counterargument

Although turbulence in the work environment may lower any potential of having a college degree in business and economics to guarantee a job in the future, some scholars believe that people can take proactive strategies to deal with the situation to increase their chances of job security in the future. For example, Hirschi and Freud (2014) uphold individual motivation to engage in proactive behaviours that encourage individual career development. In their study, they deployed “a micro-level perspective on how within-individual differences in motivational and socio-cognitive factors affected the weekly fluctuations of engagement in proactive career behaviours” (Hirschi & Freud 2014, p.5). The study deployed a sample size of 67 students from a Germany university. For a period of 13 weeks, Hirschi and Freud (2014) investigated students’ beliefs on their job self-efficacy, barriers to career mobility, professional support experiences, emotions towards job progression, and their occupational commitment approaches. Hence, organisations need to look for career social support interventions together with mechanisms for ensuring positive emotions towards the careers of their employees to encourage and support them (workers) in taking responsibility for managing their careers to remain assured of a job in the future.

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Based on the arguments raised by Hirschi and Freud (2014), it is uncertain how I would rely on my anticipated employers to put in place appropriate programmes that would guarantee consistent career success in a globalised and technologically changing world. For example, adoption of technology in the analysis and preparation of financial statements reduces the need for many business and economic human decision makers. Hence, downsizing human resources is almost inevitable. In such situations, organisations cannot take the responsibility of looking for alternative careers or placement of business and economics employees in other alternative jobs. Therefore, there is no certainty that future national and global organisations would prioritise the development of their employees’ business and economics careers, as opposed to procuring the emerging technologies, which reduce the need for such human decision makers.

Conclusion

In a globalised and technologically driven world, college students need to anticipate unprecedented changes in their career demands. Therefore, they need to adopt requisite strategies for ensuring that they advance their knowledge and skills to meet the new demand. Otherwise, the protean career will force them out of the employment system since new jobs always come with a new set of skill and knowledge requirements. In the worst scenario, many of the future jobs that students in business and economics believe they will do with their current college educational knowledge and skills will be outsourced to nations that have a higher comparative advantage for doing it. Such comparative advantage may emanate from low costs that are associated with the development of new, efficient, and effective business economics and business accounting technologies. This situation creates clear uncertainties concerning job security for business and economics career options in the future, say 20 years.

References

Blinder, A. 2006. Offshoring: The Next Industrial Revolution? Web.

Chiaburu, D., Baker, V., & Pitairu, A. 2006. Beyond Being Proactive: What (else) Matters for Career Self-Management Behaviours? Career Development International, 11(7): 619-632.

De Vos, A., & Soens, N. 2008. Protean Attitudes and Career Success: The Mediating Roles of Self-Management. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 73(3): 449-456.

Hall, D. 2004. The protean career: A quarter-century journey. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 65(1): 1–13.

Hill, C., Cronk, T., & Wickramasekera, R. 2011. Global Business Today: Asia Pacific. Sydney: McGraw Hill Australia Pty Ltd.

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Hirschi, A., & Freud, P. 2014. Career Engagement: Investigating Intra-individual Predictors of Weekly Fluctuations in Proactive Career Behaviours. The Career Development Quarterly, 62(1): 5-20.

Kathawala, Y., Zhan, R., & Shao, J. 2005. Global Outsourcing and Its Impacts on Organisations: Problems and Issues. International Journal of Outsourcing Operations Management, 1: 185-196.

King, Z. 2004. Career Self-Management: Its Nature, Causes and Consequences. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 65(1): 112-133.

Krugman, P. 1996. White collars turn blue, Web.

McCormack, R. 2011. Accenture: Offshore Outsourcing Has Not Worked. Manufacturing & Technology News, 18(7): 212-231.

Mucha, S. 2003. Calculating the Total Costs of Offshore Outsourcing. The Economist, 11(3): 28-30.

Ross, B. 2009. Market entry methods for western firms in China, Asia Pacific. Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 15(4): 3–18.

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