The Future of the Professions

Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind

Why I looked at this book

My impression is that we live in a 'command and control' economy, and clearly the class of professionals is central to this. From the time of medieval guilds, there has been this class, defined by their work, but also exclusive, generally with a cost to become part of it. But how necessary are they? In Victorian times such a job could be something of a sinecure. Today access to such jobs drives competition in the educational system, although one wonders whether the education thus obtained is less important than 'know-how' gained on the job. Another question is whether all this administration is needed - is it more a case of having the manpower available? I'm hoping that this book will answer some of these questions, as well as pointing out a possible future path for our economy.

First impressions

The sample has quite a bit about looking at what 'professional' means, but the authors sensibly avoid giving an exact definition. As professionals themselves, the authors emphasise the altruism involved in having a career in the professions, rather than the money. In today's unequal society we may find it eminently reasonable that a professional shouldn't have to take a second job to pay the mortgage, but I'm interested in whether this ends up contributing towards inequality. (The bit about Marx came as something of a surprise, but it clearly relevant in this context)

The book has a bit about the historical context of the professions - I'd have preferred much more about this. As it is quite a bit of that section is looking at the work of sociologists. I'm also a bit wary that part II of the book is devoted to 'Theory'. So far though it hasn't been difficult to read, so I'm hoping that it will be a thought provoking book.
Coming soon:
Main Review
Reviews Elsewhere
Why not follow the Twitter feed?