The Skills Gap Scare

When most people think of the industrial revolution one of the biggest points that comes up is the shift from local farmers to unskilled factory labors. And for the initial industrialization this was great. Almost anyone could find work in a factory, granted the conditions might not be great, but the jobs were there for those willing to work them. But now the division in labor is a pretty different story. There’s still unskilled labor jobs available, but if someone wants to provide for a family they need much more than that. In today’s society it’s basically expected that everyone graduates college with at least a bachelor’s degree. While in theory it makes sense because of all the advancements in technology that require and education to use, it really falls apart in practice.

According to the article America’s persistent problem: Unskilled workers there are million of job openings that are remaining vacant. This causes a problem known as the skills gap. According to this article one of the biggest factors contributing to the skills gap is that many businesses want entry level employees that require no training. For example, many of the “entry level” positions require multiple years of experience. What really doesn’t make sense is that according to Joseph Fuller 65% of job postings for secretaries require a college degree but only 19% of the employed secretaries have college degrees. When looking at these two facts things really don’t add up.

What seems to be happening is that employers are asking for way more experience than what is actually required. When you look back at the initial industrial revolution in the U.S. it seemed to be the exact opposite. When you think about it that’s really scary. After graduating looking for jobs is stressful enough but trying to find an entry level position that doesn’t require experience is pretty hard in some fields. When looking on, an online job board, you can search for just about anything in any city or location that you want. With just searching for entry level business positions around my area I found a few job listings that required years of previous experience. One of the listings I found was for a business enterprise- analysis security position. This was supposed to be an entry level position but it required 3 to 8 years of relevant work experience.

As my primary source I chose to use a job listing because it’s a good way to show how much experience is needed for whats considered an entry level position. When you look at this compared to the past it’s kind of scary to see what is required to start a job now. Back in industrial revolution anyone could get a job as an unskilled laborer and that was considered acceptable. As my secondary source I chose to use a news article from CNN. It’s about a year old so it’s info about the economy is a bit outdated but the main ideas presented are still relevant today. The skills gap is a scary thing that’s unique to today’s economy because of the technology available. When you compare this to the industrial revolution it’s pretty backwards.


Gillespie, Patrick. “America’s Persistent Problem: Not Enough Skilled Workers.” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 7 Aug. 2015. Web. 11 Nov. 2016.

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