Blue Collar Vs White Collar.

It has not yet come to Vs in India. It is still peaceful coexistence, albeit with a subtext of unease.

The Blue Collar population striving hard to get its children move up the social and economic ladder by sending them to good schools/colleges etc and to a large extent succeeding. On the other hand, what I would call a Green Collar population, predominantly rural and agriculture oriented, strives hard to send part of its numbers into cities into Blue Collar occupations and succeeding at that too.

That leaves us with the White Collar which aspires to just keep up with the better off neighbours! In other words, wealth.

There is however a new category called Knowledge Workers which mostly does not wear collars at all and is totally outside the ambit of fashion. This category is the latest kid on the block and has created quite a stir in some of our cities like Bengaluru, Pune and Hyderabad where our Information Technology companies tend to concentrate.

All three are interdependent and feed off each other quite peacefully.  And Hambone explains the economic reality beautifully in this cartoon.


There is however the looming danger of automation which will increasingly affect all three categories. Beyond that, the scenario is even more startling as depicted so starkly by Yuval Noah Harari in his amazing book Homo Deus. From where we stand, he says, in the accelerating present, no long-term future is imaginable, still less predictable – and there is plenty of time for questions. In that book he suggests a future for human beings that will be more like the Gods of yore than humans of now! I leave my readers to either read the book or research on their own.

Shackman has suggested this week’s LBC topic. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

24 thoughts on “Blue Collar Vs White Collar.”

  1. Chasing wealth is prevalent here – the problem is the new millennials do not seem willing to work to earn it as they are used to instant gratification. Lucrative blue collar careers are available to anyone willing to get their hands dirty and work – traits we used to hold in high esteem. Yep – tech is a no collar industry but I include it in the white collar world.

    If I was in my twenties and looking to enter the workforce I suspect I’d either be looking hard at blue collar careers.
    shackman recently posted..Blue Collar vs White Collar

    1. I had commented on your post that I would have probably ended up in a blue collar career had it not been for my mother desperately wanting me to pursue a degree and a white collar career. I don’t think that it is infra dig to be in one.

  2. I agree with shackman, I would go for a blue collar job like a plumber that pays well and requires skills that aren’t apt to be replaced by robots. The world is changing fast.

    1. Had it not been for an obsession of my mother that her first born acquire a degree and pursue a white collar job, I probably would have ended up in a blue collar career and very likely would have earned a great deal more than I did in a white collar one.

  3. That’s what makes the world can continue rotating.
    This analogy is the same as the caste system in India. If everyone is Boss then who is turning the wheel.

      1. Yes like the game in life which all have their own way.
        In Indonesia, especially in the province of Bali where the majority are Hindus, the matter of caste was not become a serious polemic. What about in India?
        Tikno recently posted..Mr. Money is not guilty

  4. interesting – not something I have particularly thought about.

    One of the lads next door is training to be a nurse, now when I was younger you did that onsite at a big city hospital but he is doing his via a University type degree – with occasional practicum, at various institutions – some different. I also knew another lad who went down this avenue, I caught up with him last year – he was now doing post-graduate studies as he needed to keep ahead to move up the “ladder” – all very different in this era IMHO

    1. I have been hospitalised five times so far in my life for surgery and the last time I was, there were two male nurses in attendance and I was informed by them that it is now getting to be quite common for men to become nurses. They were quite good too and for me effective.

  5. Something I think about now and then without being able to decide what career advice I would give a youth who might ask me. Here in Michigan, center of the “rust belt,” we just learned the unemployment rate has fallen to the “full employment” level. Business people say they have many blue collar jobs open, and can’t find applicants to fill them. One problem is that “blue collar” now seems to have a new definition. Middle class workers need computer and other advanced skills to perform the work, and the educational system is not filling the needs.
    Gabbygeezer recently posted..Way Too Much Pay For Play

    1. The situation is no better here. Even Engineering graduates are unemployable in blue collar jobs and have to be retrained by employers. Liberal Arts students find it difficult to get into Business Schools as they are weak in mathematics and statistics and so opt out for other careers. By and large confusion regarding what would make for a good career reigns.

Comments are closed.