Alissa Quart, author of “Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America”, wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times questioning the benefits and trustworthiness of the ‘second act’ industry. The article titled The Snake Oil of the Second-Act Industry has raised plenty of ire from those offering services for audiences seeking to reinvent themselves.
In the article Quart looks into the many for-profit colleges who make large claims of the possibility of increasing the incomes of those who desire a career upgrade past the traditional age of college graduates. Many accrue new college debt on top of those they might already be paying off or fielding for their children’s educations.
She compares many of the certificate and degree institutions to the controversial for-profit Trump University. A lot of promises with disappointing results or outright fraud. She includes many ‘coaches’ who have set up shop to accommodate the new market demand for guidance. They appeal to the anxiousness that many 50+ are feeling around meager retirement savings and their place in the workforce.
There are high-priced programs and virtual conferences, the price can climb to $90,000. The investment can come with aspirational titles promising some form of reinvention for the next chapter.
They inflate the promise of what you might get from all of these training workshops, books, coaching or schools
says Ofer Sharone, a University of Massachusetts, Amherst, sociologist and a founder of the Institute for Career Transitions.
Quart ponders the existential angst many feel about their own identity as they age and live longer, often without enough savings or income to sustain a longer life.
We think we’ll be hearing more about the industry springing up to face our generation’s need to thrive in this next phase.
Read the full article: The Snake Oil of the Second-Act Industry
Photo by: Lester Luallin from Flickr