Or at least that is what Sheryl Crow says. My wife and I recently had another couple over to our house for a catered supper. The supper was excellent but so was the conversation. The person in question is an industry leading human resources expert and she had some interesting predictions for the future of the tech industry.
Her first prediction is that future tech companies will hire allot less full time employees. Students graduating with engineering degrees will move from contract to contract rather than land full time jobs. This will impact their standard of living in a bunch of interesting ways. Benefits will no longer be supplied by companies so health plans will have to be purchased by individuals if they want them.
Salaries will be higher but so will the risk of unemployment. Web sites like freelancer will become marketplaces where people like software designers will build individual reputations that will enable them to land the most lucrative contracts. Contractors will take contracts based on things like the increased community status in much the same way that gamers and hackers do now. Salaries will be set by supply and demand and the competition will be global.
There will always be cases where things like national security or the designers ability to come to the customers site will give certain individuals an edge, but the bulk of the contracts will be bid on globally. The gaming community already is a global stage and it works well. There is something exciting about achieving a goal when you know that you have competed against the best the world has to offer.
Designers may decide to form groups in order to handle larger contracts or contracts that require an investment in tools. These groups will be partnerships in much the same way law firms are partnerships today. A persons street cred will be elevated by participation in such organizations.
The lack of steady income will mean that banks and lending institutions will have to change the way they rate people for things like mortgages. In order to get a mortgage or a credit card today you have to have a steady job. If steady jobs become a thing of the past, taxation, money lending and many other aspects of current day society will have to change.
We are already starting to see a drastic drop in employment for university grads which was recently covered in an article in Mclean’s Magazine. In some cases the new grads are moving back home but the more adventurous are already contracting to build their reputations.
The earlier posts this week about changes in corporate management and the lack of traditional marketing will be necessary in order to compete on a global stage. I say “Bring it on” I’m ready to step up my game and I have the experience and resources to compete.