Getting real

To the Journal editor:

I recently had a new computer science grad come by my office looking for a job. I don’t have need for a kid with a computer science degree from a college that isn’t known for its computer science program.

I did, however, offer him some advice: If you have tech skills, move away from the Upper Peninsula. However, I was remiss in not suggesting to him that there are opportunities for programmers and network engineers in, of all places, Detroit. So, if you’re reading this, kid, check out the Motor City.

Yes, the guy who made gazillions from founding Quicken Loans is basically buying up downtown Detroit real estate and turning it into the Michigan equivalent of Silicon Valley or maybe Williamsburg (or) Brooklyn.

At the same time, I should also offer this advice, not to only to newly minted CS grads, but any young professional: Own your future. Create your opportunities. Don’t just hand out or email your (literally, paper thin) resumes. Welcome to the new normal. Like it or not, the world of American abundance c. 1946-2008 is over. O.V.E.R! Thank you, Wall Street.

Guess what? There are two billion people in Chindia (China plus India) that want your job, your opportunity, and the lifestyle that you thought was your birthright.

Suit up, kids, it is indeed a brave new world, and, as the Chinese proverb goes, may you live in interesting times. By the way, that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Here’s a link to a survivor. His story is the same as mine: Always upgrade your skills and always own your future and create your own opportunities.

Nobody is going to hand it to you, and just because you were born in America, it doesn’t mean that you win by default. I hate to break it to you.

Thomas Derenthal