Technological change already has reshaped the U.S. workforce — creating new job categories while others fade away.
In 2013, an estimated 165,100 Americans worked as computer network support specialists, 141,270 as computer network architects, and 78,020 as information security analysts. None of those occupations existed on their own in 1999.
Last year there were an estimated 112,820 web developers, another job classification that didn’t exist in 1999 (despite the dot-com mania that was cresting that year).
We compared the 2013 occupations list with the one for 1999, the earliest with a similar structure. While most of the 800 or so jobs were unchanged, there were some notable differences showing how new technologies already are affecting employment.
Asked to predict the future of the internet and how technology/the Web will change over the next decade, hundreds of experts agree that trends now underway will make the internet more important even as it becomes less visible in daily life.
“Many of the evolutionary advantages in the future will be to people who don’t necessarily have lots of facts in their head but have a lot of capacity to do critical thinking and are discerning searchers. They can figure out relatively quickly and well the difference between highly credible information and highly suspect information.”—Our director Lee Rainie, on Brains, Automation, and the Internet.
“By 2025, we should have around 8.1 billion people online. Just imagine all those billions of people and ideas sharing and collaborating. Please don’t let me get hit by a bus. I want to live to experience this period which people will later call the Age of Collaboration.”—
On Tuesday, NASA made an exciting announcement: Its Voyager 1 spacecraft, which was first launched in 1977, is cruising interstellar space, which the agency describes as “a region between the stars filled with a thin soup of charged particles, also known as plasma.” While Voyager 1 still technically remains within the solar system, this is the furthest that a human spacecraft has ever traveled — and the first time that one has ever entered a new cosmic realm.
The Pew Research Center recently released a library user quiz sorting Americans into different types based on how they use and view libraries. Here are results.
How did our online quiz-takers compare with the results of our nationally representative telephone survey? One unsurprising finding: If you take a quiz called “What kind of library user are you?”, you probably know the answer.
“To realize its full potential, the Internet, as a medium and infrastructure (cables, etc.), has to be redefined, legislated, and maintained as a public domain where freedom of speech operates fully. Access to the Internet should be guaranteed globally in the same way as education, healthcare, food, and housing are guaranteed now in some countries.”—An associate professor at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, on future threats to the Net by 2025
The controversy over what the Facebook researchers did may be overshadowing other important discussions, specifically conversations about what they really found—not much, actually—and the right and wrong way to think about and report findings based on statistical analyses of Big Data.
New on the Fact Tank blog: Rich Morin discusses Facebook’s “emotional content” newsfeed experiment — what did they actually find? Was it ethical?
Compare the library engagement of your library or group with the rest of the country using our new “community quiz” tool.
Calling all librarians, educators, civic leaders, or members of the public who are interested in your local public library’s role in your community:
We have new quiz tool that allows you to create your own version of our library user quiz and invite members of your community to take it. You can learn how your community’s members use their local public library, how they think about their library’s impact on the community, and how they view the importance of libraries in the digital age.
Why talk when we can text? For many, our phones are a habit — a bad one — and only a small number of us realize it. Our voices are a way to express and define ourselves; a text message can’t do that.
People aren’t walling themselves off behind their cellphone or computer screen in an effort to avoid face-to-face interaction.
But is that always the case?
According to our 2012 survey, 67% of cellphone owners found themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts or calls — even when they didn’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating; and 29% of cell owners described their phone as “something they can’t imagine living without.”
More than 400 large U.S. military drones have crashed in major accidents around the world since 2001, showing the potential dangers of throwing open U.S. skies to drone traffic, according to a year-long Washington Post investigation.