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Rethinking the race between education & technology

Technological innovation is changing the nature of many jobs and the qualifications employers seek in their workers, convincing more young people to pursue a college education and other postsecondary credentials–at least according to the conventional wisdom among public policy experts. This view of skill-biased technological change has been described as a race between education and technology. The Harvard economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz explain rising income inequality in the US as a result of the education system failing to keep pace with technological innovation and the rising demand for higher-level skills. This analysis resonates well with the idea of a burgeoning knowledge economy and has helped fuel the global expansion of higher education. If the nation is anticipating a growing need for workers with advanced skills, then education is at the heart of economic and social policy. Supporters of this scenario expect that as in the past, new positions and professions will emerge and create new jobs to replace any eliminated by new technology.