How to Create “New” Collar Jobs

Ginni Rometty is the CEO of IBM.

While globalization and technology have delivered huge benefits in reducing poverty, legitimate concerns have been raised about the impact on jobs around the world. In addition, many people are in jobs that underutilize their talents or potential. There are more than 5 million jobs open in the U.S., many of which are higher-skill and higher-paid but don’t require a four-year degree.

I believe there are promising paths forward: First, we must create and hire to fill entirely new kinds of jobs, being created by the unleashing of data and cognitive technology. In IBM’s industry, these include roles in fields such as cybersecurity, data science, artificial intelligence and cognitive business. Second, we need new education models. For example, IBM has championed six-year public high schools that combine traditional education with the best of community colleges, mentoring and real-world job experience. There will soon be 100 such schools across the U.S. and around the world. Third, artificial intelligence can help. AI can enhance and accelerate the skill development of employees or trainees in roles ranging from health care to customer service. We can also bridge the gap between employers with unfilled vacancies and prospective employees who have the potential but not the traditional qualifications.

The market alone will not solve this problem; we need collaboration across business, government and civil society. The future of job creation is no longer white collar vs. blue collar. It’s new collar.

Rometty is the CEO of IBM

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