"Do what you love," argues Daniel Pink in this NYT op-ed. According to Pink, the skills needed by the U.S. workforce are those skills that cannot easily be duplicated by computers or by people in distant locations. Here's a sample:
In other words, to make it in the emerging economy, we will have to do things that software can't do faster and that overseas knowledge workers can't do more cheaply. In addition, what we produce must also satisfy the growing consumer demand for products and services infused with emotion, spirituality and artistry.
As the information age matures, eat-your-spinach skills are still necessary, but they are no longer sufficient. The abilities that matter more are turning out to be the abilities that are also fundamental sources of human gratification. And that's good news for many intrinsically motivated (but sometimes parentally discouraged) professions. Indeed, more Americans already work in art, entertainment and design than work as lawyers, accountants and auditors.
To be sure, this new labor market is not a land in which every person will be able to pursue a passion and instantly arrive at a fat paycheck. Still, we may finally be at the point where we can tell freshly minted graduates: Look, it's a rough world out there. There's only one way to survive. Do what you love.