Whither Jobs?

Fan though I am, this is not about the eerie absence of Steve Jobs from the helm of Apple. With or without him, I don’t foresee an 80’s style collapse of Apple. There is, however, another threat to Apple, and to me. The Economy.

First, the disclaimer. I am not an economist, you know. Although i read this essay by Daron Acemoglu, an MIT economist, and he details where economists too went wrong. This article by Arnold Kling is very accessible.

To quote Acemoglu, economists started believing that

the era of aggregate volatility had come to an end. We believed that through astute policy or new technologies, including better methods of communication and inventory control, the business cycles were conquered. Our belief in a more benign economy made us more optimistic about the stock market and the housing market. If any contraction must be soft and short lived, then it becomes easier to believe that financial intermediaries, firms and consumers should not worry about large drops in asset values.

I’m no one to judge an economist, much less an economist’s assessment of economists, but I must say that till early 2008, I heard many economic writers I admire say that this problem was all “much ado about nothing”.

Anywho, here we are, no one seems willing to give any good news. Wall Street Journal had this article, saying recruitment in Business Schools were at a lower level than even one expected in October. One quote by a student caught my eye. She said about the placement system in the college,

The system they have in place now seems to be one that works very well when the economy is good, but now that there are no employers coming — no one knows what to do

This may be true, and therefore we will need a plan. This is the moment for aggressively reaching out, and I’m happy to say our batch is already thinking on those lines. I never would have thought that there will be dozens of mails everyday in our mailing list. Some are about mundane issues like what laptops to buy, but several talk about projecting ourselves to the world. This being the first batch, and the institute is flexible, so a lot of ideas are being discussed, and nothing is off limits.

This may sound like an ad for the batch, but it didn’t start that way. I wanted to discuss the problems, ended us talking about the solutions we are working on. So…. does anyone have any idea? Where do we look for jobs next?

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