This is somewhat synonymous to the computer science field. A young guy can whip up an app using the newest technology and not have any idea that John von Neumann invented the stored program and all the people involved in evolving the technology to the point where it is today. But we have to look at the end result rather than the mean. Can someone write two lines of code and have a working application? Yes. Do they need to know how to do the same thing using punch cards? Not really. Would it make them better at their job if they did? It's very likely. There are benefits to knowing the low level aspects. If you can do something in hardware, it will most definitely be faster than doing it in software. This equates to using film in a digital world. Breadboards and transistors vs. reusable software.
Fine art photography seems to be finished at the commercial level. What does the young guy need to know other than point, click, edit, send to be printed? The archival process is in the hands of the marketing department at the lab.