Students need to get-with industry technology, if you want to be hired after graduation
In the early 1990’s three technological transitions happened so rapidly that soon-after, they were no longer considered technologies.
They were so commonplace, so quickly, that they felt like they had always existed, and were as invisible to business consciousness as walls and light fixtures.
I will tell three short stories to explain each.
I was studying for my Master’s degree and my statistics professor excitedly pulled a friend-of-mine and me into the computer lab and showed us email. He said that this would “revolutionise” education and beyond – radically changing every industry.
My friend and I politely smiled. However, we were puzzled. What exactly was it, and why and when would we ever use email. Many days I wish I didn’t know the answer to those questions.
2. Desktop computers
I was working part-time at a vocational rehabilitation centre. The secretary (yes, before personal computers, there were secretaries, not support officers), was irked with the manager for trying to make her learn to use a computer.
She had it shoved as far back on her desk as she could (and those monitors were BULKY) to make room for her typewriter, which she continued to use. She could not comprehend how that “stupid contraption” would ever replace her typewriter.
You should have heard her reaction when the fax machine arrived- but that story is for another day.
Meanwhile my husband was an accountant at a five-star hotel. The financial controller sent my husband to a corporate training event about the internet.
My husband was supposed to report back about basically- what was the big deal? My husband pondered and we discussed. We could not conceive the relevance of the internet to the hotel industry. LOL now, there IS no hotel industry without the internet. They co-exist.
What is the point of me telling you these stories? How does this impact your success in converting your university degree into a lucrative (and satisfying) career?
Here are my three points/recommendations spelled-out.
1. Be receptive and agile
Keep your antennas up. Listen for cues as to which technologies are going to take hold and accept invitations to learn to use them. Act quickly. Don’t scoff – this may be one of The Ones!
2. Be an intra-preneur
Do you know that your future employers do not only want to teach you? They also want to learn from you. They expect you to arrive from university – fresh, eager, knowledgeable, up-on-the-latest technologies and with ideas of how they can improve. Equip yourself.
3. Be a Lifelong Learner
The technologies are not going to stop evolving and disrupting our current ways-of-doing-business. Remain curious. Continue to educate yourself, particularly about technology. Do not fall behind. Continue to be a Leader.