I like having students read Tom Friedman's editorials that discuss the job market, because he doesn't at all downplay the level of competition needed to succeed.
(Enter "jobs" or "Friedman" in the Blogger search engine to see more.)
Here are some excerpts from this latest piece.
"We’re in the midst of a perfect storm: a Great Recession that has caused
a sharp increase in unemployment and a Great Inflection — a merger of
the information technology revolution and globalization that is
simultaneously wiping out many decent-wage, middle-skilled jobs, which
were the foundation of our middle class, and replacing them with
decent-wage, high-skilled jobs. Every decent-paying job today takes more
skill and more education, but too many Americans aren’t ready."
"Eduardo Padrón, the president of Miami Dade College, the acclaimed
pioneer in education-for-work, put it this way: “The skill shortage is
real. Years ago, we started working with over 100 companies to meet
their needs. Every program that we offer has an industry advisory
committee that helps us with curriculum, mentorship, internships and
scholarships. ... Spanish-speaking immigrants used to be able to come
here and get a decent job doing repetitive tasks in an office or factory
and earn enough to buy a home and car and put their kids through school
and enjoy middle-class status. That is no longer possible. ... The big
issue in America is not the fiscal deficit, but the deficit in
understanding about education and the role it plays in the knowledge