Category Archives: Education

The “labor shortage” may be self inflicted due to child care/Covid issues

Labor shortages may be the most intractable of the cost risks that U.S. companies faced in the latest quarter, and as the earnings season moves into its peak there are signs the problem will persist, some strategists say.

Source: No end in sight for labor shortages as U.S. companies fight high costs | Reuters

The reality is:

When one kid in a pre-school tests positive, everyone is sent home for two weeks of quarantine even though none of them are sick. The immediate result is that parents have no predictability and frequently one parent has cut hours or even quit their job to deal with this.

Same with day care.

Same thing in public schools. Many are testing all kids and getting asymptomatic (possibly false) positive results, and telling all the kids to quarantine at home for the next two weeks.

Again, no one with kids can manage a sensible work schedule. Not everyone is an upper class spreadsheet jokey Zooming work from home person – some people, surprisingly, do real work, with real stuff, in real factories and in real offices.

Bottom line: Many parents with kids cannot both work anymore. The labor shortage is likely a self inflicted wound caused by public health policies. Public health still believes everyone can isolate and work from home, forever, and food just magically appears on their tables.

About Half of millennials meet definition of “Super Savers”

Principal defines these Super Savers as people saving either 90% of the maximum in their retirement plan — such as a 401(k)–or at least 15% of their income. According to Principal’s survey of nearly 1,500 individuals, Super Savers account for 49% of Generation X and 43% of millennials.

Source: Opinion: These ‘Super Savers’ don’t have to think about retirement — how to become more like them – MarketWatch

This is contrary to the meme that younger generations are spending all their money on traveling the world.

Of course, some may be saving large amounts to travel in future years, and perhaps they are not saving for retirement.

Then again, there is a view that many college educated, well paid workers are over saving for retirement. I now agree with that view.

I grew up the child of parents that grew up during The Great Depression. I was taught – literally hammered in to me – to save as much as possible, always, and to avoid or postpone spending on fun things. I had my first job at age 10 and was directed to save at least 50% for college (in fact, I paid 100% of my own college tuition and my two Masters degrees without loans).

The good news is I over saved for retirement and so can be comfortable in retirement.

The bad news? I never did a lot of things my peer groups did, and which would be much easier to do when younger. Over saving is a real issue and it can have unexpected consequences – such as it might negatively impact one’s career.

Continue reading About Half of millennials meet definition of “Super Savers”

Post-pandemic, corporate training likely to stick with e-learning methods

During the pandemic, many corporations moved to online training programs – doing away with offline education seminars, workshops, conference sessions. This also means less business travel, fewer overnight stays, and less time needed for training.

This trend is very likely to stay post-pandemic. Online education becomes a standard training method.

Source: How To Create an Online Course: The Ultimate Guide for 2021

“Flight shaming”: Global travel should be banned.

Saving the planet requires that we stop gaping and gawking at travel blogs and vacation selfies. Instead, everyone who cares about the environment should shame those who clamber onto an airplane every chance they get.

This is what counts as discourse from an “intellectual”. Let’s take mask shaming to a new level – and scream at anyone who posts a vacation photo online! And yell at those who view travel items on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.

In addition to “Flight shaming” there is also “overtourism” where some popular destinations now have more tourists than some desire. I wrote about that topic previously – proposed solutions are to limit the number of visitors to those who pay more (the elite?). They want fewer tourists each of whom spends more money. One way may to be set minimum stay duration (e.g. 5-7 days). Some destinations have added tourist taxes and new requirements such as health insurance bought from an in-country health insurer (not your usual travel insurance).

Continue reading “Flight shaming”: Global travel should be banned.

Online coding school lays off most staff

“Coding” school “boot camps” have become popular. The programs, often six months or so in length, promise to train students in specific programming skills, such as JavaScript web app development, with an expectation of high paying jobs.

Some require a 4-year degree in any subject, prior to start, while others do not.

This coding bootcamp received publicity for promoting the idea that management was not necessary and staff could complete their work in 32 hours per week.

Treehouse attracted national attention in 2013 and 2015 with two unorthodox management strategies: The company eliminated all layers of management and it moved to a 32-hour-work week.Neither experiment worked.

Source: Online coding school Treehouse, formerly based in Portland, lays off most of its staff – oregonlive.com

They later re-introduced both management and a 40 hour work week before imploding in 2021.

In my view, coding boot camps likely have value to those who have appropriate backgrounds and are seeking specific skills in software development. Boot camps do not substitute for degrees in computer science, software or computer engineering.

However, the reality is that much software development is more akin to a high skilled “blue collar” workforce that is developing specific projects with a limited skill set domain. You do not need a degree in computer science to develop most web or mobile applications.

Continue reading Online coding school lays off most staff

Oops: Study finds school mitigations had little effect

In fact, they found mask wearing was associated with having more colds.

Double oops wrong think.