Democratic presidential contender and Joe Biden has some advice for the recently disrupted: learn to program.
At a rally in Derry, New Hampshire on Monday, per the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel, Biden talked about how unemployed miners and coal workers who have lost their jobs in recent years can find “jobs of the future” if they “learn to program.” Referencing his role in a Barack Obama-era programming skills initiative in schools, Biden commented that “Anybody who can go down 3000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well… Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program, for God’s sake!”What, exactly, these blue collar workers in the mining and coal-shoveling sectors should learn to code is unclear. A December jobs report by Challenger, Gray, & Christmas found that the mining and tech sectors are both shedding thousands of jobs nationwide. (So too is everything coal-related.) It’s fair to say the long-term prospects for IT workers are better, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting that computer and information technology jobs will grow “12 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.” Meanwhile, dirty energy jobs are dying left and right despite Donald Trump’s best efforts to slash regulations.