Parents are sending their children to university under the assumption that they’ll find full-time work after graduation as easily as their parents did. The timeline on this page suggests that, in the current economic and technological climate, that assumption may be flawed.

The pace at which technology is encroaching on the workplace is increasing. So is the speed at which employers are introducing increasingly creative, non-standard employment relationships. Many traditional occupations and professions are feeling the impact even as new kinds of work are appearing. But which occupations and which professions? What will typical employee-employer relationships look like? What will it take to prepare for them?

Full-time employment used to be the return on investment parents expected for their children. It’s how they measured value for money. Today’s calculus is different. The cost of tuition has risen 40% in the last 10 years. That trend is expected to continue. Over 50% of all jobs are now precarious. Half of all jobs will be automated in the next 10 years. That, too, is expected to continue.

The links in the following timeline will take you to articles and reports that reflect expert opinion about and experience with the current environment that may have consequences for your children and the children of people you know. They include GE’s Jeff Immelt (#4), MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson (#12), McGill’s Suzanne Fortier (#12) and Google’s Sergey Brin (#16).

  1. September 1969 — The first node of ARPANET installed at UCLA
  1. August 12, 1981 — IBM introduces its first personal computer
  1. July 15, 2014 —Apple and IBM Forge Global Partnership to Transform Enterprise Mobility
  1. August 4, 2016 — LinkedIn interview with GE CEO Jeff Immelt: “Culture is not just apps. It’s a combination of people and technology. If you are joining the company in your 20s, unlike when I joined, you’re going to learn to code. It doesn’t matter whether you are in sales, finance or operations. You may not end up being a programmer, but you will know how to code. We are also changing the plumbing inside the company to connect everyone and make the culture change possible. This is existential and we’re committed to this.”
  1. September 2016 — Deloitte survey “Transitioning to the Future of Work and the Workplace, Embracing Digital Culture, Tools, and Approaches”
  1. October 22, 2016 — Finance Minister Bill Morneau offered this advice at a Liberal Party gathering in Niagara-On-The-Lake: “Get used to the ‘job churn’ of short-term employment and career changes.”
  1. December 17, 2016 — Morneau’s advisory council on economic growth predicts that: “Fully half of all jobs will be automated during the next decade, making massive retraining a social and economic necessity.”
  1. January 14, 2017 — “Innovation key to achieving Trudeau’s resourcefulness.’” In order to move Canada’s reputation away from resources to resourcefulness, PM must break the mould of linear thinking.
  1. January 12, 2017 — World Economic Forum report: “The jobless world and its discontents, How can we prepare for a future where drones, 3D printing and automation replace jobs?”
  1. January 14, 2017 — The Economist: “Lifelong learning, How to survive in the age of automation” (Cover story and Special Report)”
  1. January 16, 2017 —As Robots Take Jobs, Europeans Mull Free Money for All”
  1. January 19, 2017 — Davos 2017 – Issue Briefing: Jobs and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  1. February 2017 — Maclean’s print edition: “When robots steal your job”, The real driver behind re-shoring is automation. Robotic jobs, not human ones, are coming back.
  1. February 2017 — Automa-nation: Will robots take your job? A new report suggests 42% of the Canadian job market is at risk.
  1. January 17, 2017 — IBM THINK Blog, IBM Cognitive Principles
  1. January 19, 2017 — World Economic Forum, Davos 2017: Google’s Sergey Brin on AI

We’re in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and nobody knows how the story is going to end. What we do know is that making the transition from university to high-paying, 40-hour-a-week jobs isn’t the relatively sure thing it used to be. We show the families we work with how to build at least two different business cases, one for each of two university options, just to be safe. It can take up to a year per business case.

Our children deserve to be prepared. Progressively larger amounts of money are going to be involved, and degrees don’t guarantee work. Nor does the time it will take to earn those degrees. To learn more about who we are and what we do, please explore the Personal Due Diligence website. Then tell a friend or relative.

Because we’re all in this together.


Neil Morris
President & Founder

Phone: 905 273 9880
Email: info@personalduediligence.ca
Skype: fnmorris
Web: personalduediligence.com