When I was a kid, every dream I had required me to go to college. If I told my parents I wanted to be a doctor, a chief, or an astronaut every time I got the same answer, “Well you’re going to have to go to college than.” This really influenced how I thought. If I was going to get a job I enjoyed, a college degree would always be a prerequisite. Although it’s not ultimately true, it is still how I think.
In chapter two of Christopher Newfield’s book Newfield talks about a book called The New Industrial State, written by John Kenneth Galbraith. Galbraith had a lot of very unique, but valuable ideas. He talked about something called the “Technostructure.” This class was comprised of technically proficient positions, such as scientists and engineers. With their college degrees they were able to take some level of authority in their positions. Galbraith says that, “This, not the narrow management group, is the guiding intelligence-the brain- of the enterprise.”
Further on in the chapter Galbraith talks about how this Technostructure is “blurring the lines.” The knowledge workers can’t be managed in the same way. A supervisor can’t watch over their shoulder as they could with laboring jobs. In those kind of jobs there was a distinct line between employee and boss/owner. The inability to manage the knowledge worker allowed them to manage themselves and the difference between employee and boss/owner diminished.
This was exactly what I wanted for myself. If I was part of the Technostructure that would mean I would be able to manage myself. I would have power. Not just to manage myself but I would have a certain level of prestige, only acquired through education. This would allow me to have a voice in places like economy or even politics. More important to me though was having a job that challenged me. Working in brainless jobs like restaurants or retail is mentally draining. Not because it’s difficult, quite the opposite. Doing the same thing over and over, with minimal use of your brain can be dangerous. Like a muscle, the brain needs to be exercised, if it’s not it gets weak. I didn’t want that for myself. I...