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Higher Education in the Age of Information Explosion

I shared a YouTube video in my social media class today. It shows how fast technology and our knowledge evolve in this age. There are some seem-to-be-terrifying statistics related to higher education:  

  • The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004.
  • We are currently preparing students for (future) jobs that don’t yet exist (today).
  • Using technologies that haven’t been invented in order to solve problems --- we don’t even know (what) are (the) problems yet.
  • For students starting a 4 year technical degree, this means that half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study.

If that is the case, what is good about high education? What should be taught in college? 

I believe that colleges and universities in general are the places to develop future leaders and that research institutes are designed to create new knowledge and innovative ideas. It is good that students can learn the latest technology and information. Accordingly, we should at least keep our students informed with the industry updates and trends even though we may not be able to constantly change textbooks. 

Considering the fact that there is always “newer” information available, however, I argue that it would be more important to teach students the core values/principles as well as the transferable skills through the process of learning, such as leadership, problem-solving, critical and independent thinking, communication skills, and the ability of learning on one’s own. Hotel and restaurant operations, for example, jobs can be re-designed; organization can be re-structured. Yet, the philosophy of taking good care of employees and customers or running an efficient business has never changed. 

In my social media class, we will for sure talk about Facebook’s and Twitter’s business implications. In my human resource management class, we will go over the legal issues, but who can guarantee that Facebook and Twitter will continue to dominate the network or that the Congress will not pass new regulations? 

If you are an employer, what do you expect from a college graduate? If you are a student, how do you cope with information explosion? What do you expect to learn in class besides the subject itself?


  1. Although I am currently enrolled in your Hospitality Human Resource Management class, I feel like this video applies well to our discussion on "Millennials". The increase of technology and information seems to correlate to the next generation and the next. It is surprising to me when I see Youtube videos of 3 year old children playing the "piano" on an application from an iPad.

    Going back to the Millennials it seems that the idea of "we can do whatever we want" does have a strong impact in my own family setting. For example, my parents immigrated here to the U.S. and always dreamed and encouraged my brother and I to go to college and to receive a higher education that they could not receive. However, my older brother has what my mother says, "an iron neck personality" (a.k.a. stubborn) in the belief that he could do anything he wanted to. Thus, he dropped out of school and decided to pursue music as college seemed to have "bored" him. With that short story out of the way, he is still extremely tech savvy and believes he can still get any job in any field without his degree in a higher education.

    With that said, I am curious on whether or not the pride given the Millennials translates to whether or not we need higher education (as my brother believes) as long as the continue being tech savvy. His argument is that many of his friends wound up doing jobs far from their majors and found jobs working in IT or career fields looking for the younger generation that knows how to operate and learn computer functions faster than the previous generation. Is it possible that being tech-savvy is more important than education in the future?

    Jenifer La

  2. That is a very good discussion, Jenifer. There are indeed many good examples of successful drop-outs, like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg.

    If I use me as a personal example, I have to admit that I do not need to use everything I learn in every college class at work. As a matter of fact, I might have forgotten many details after I finished the finals --- many of us do that, right? However, going to college is an invaluable experience. It gives me a chance of becoming a better-rounded person by studying with a large group of talented students. Plus, knowledge often builds on one another. I may not have remembered every sentence from the textbook or in class, but the transferable skills I learned from college and gradschools serve me in a very long way.

    Often, a degree is also a "ticket" to a job. Many jobs require “college degree” as a minimum qualification. Some even prefers master's or Ph.D. degree.

    There might be many people who want to be Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg, but there is only one Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerburg out of a million (or a billion) in this planet.

    I guess going to college can be a personal choice. I, however, never feel regretted for a single minute of my college life, even for the bitter and sweet memories.

    I hope you will enjoy your college life at SU as well. See you in Thursday.

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  4. I am currently enrolled in both your Social Media and your Human Resource Management class. It is incredibly scary to believe that "students starting a 4 year technical degree, meaning that half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study." We the millennial's, also known as generation Y, are a group of people born from 1980-2000. We are incredibly tech savy, able to multi-task, like it's nothing, and always give priority to ourselves. Many of the statistics stated in this video give a reality check to those who have been studying for their college degree. College is supposed to be a time where we learn information that will be able to help us in the future, but this video completely counteracts this statement. To believe this fact, it makes us think where we actually are headed in the future. As time goes on, younger generations are capable to accomplish tasks that before were impossible.

    Reya Benitez

  5. When I am in class I expect to learn not only about the subject itself but how it can relate to my field and life in general. Its one thing to just teach about something but another to actually be able to use what you learn in your day to day activities. Whenever I can apply what I learn to my real life I feel like the learning process has come full circle.
    Sometimes I feel that by the time I am able to actually use the knowledge in my field it will no longer be the most current information. Everything is changing so quickly from the ways that social media is influencing different fields to the way that the information in those fields are changing. Sometimes I feel like we are learning so much in school, what will the next generation have to learn? As the technology changes will I be able to keep up after I graduate?

    1. There is so much a day we can use; yet, there are so many things we need to learn. Transferable skills will always be important wherever we go, I believe.

  6. As much as I love taking hospitality courses, I love taking classes that have nothing to do with it. I think I am extremely fortunate going to a school with such a broad spectrum of classes available and being able to take whichever ones I want. I think a lot of what college is, is to broaden our horizons and make us worldly and intellectual. Syracuse University does a good job of inspiring students to think outside of their major and become involved in different classes that we can relate back to whatever it is we are doing through out our lives. Hospitality courses will get me to my dream job, but taking extracurricular will make me more competitive in the work force. I think a lot of what I try to do with the knowledge that I take away from my courses, is see where I can apply it in the rest of my life.
    Technology is forever changing and so is the material that each generation is learning and I think it's important to adapt to whatever is happening. I think generation Y is already used to things constantly changing, as we grow bored easily, and we are ready to take on the future with confidence that we can handle new technology.
    However, it is difficult in some classes to embrace new technology and learn to use it when some professors are clueless when it comes to those things. I think involving social media and technology in classes is useful to not only students but also faculty that should be adapting just like they are teaching us to.

  7. From the past three years at college, there has been a major boost in the way that i use technology to help me out in class. There are many ways that that I use to cope with the explosion of technology. One of the ways that I use it is that I have the ability to use email and connect with my professors a lot easier and by doing this I can hand in my work in a more effective way. One of the major ways that i cope with it all is that I figure out how to use the technology that is given to me and then I figure out the best way for me to utilize the information/technology to the fullest. The thing that i expect to learn in the classes that I take are the subject but I want to learn easier and faster way to learn the subject. Also I want to learn if there is technology to help me a achieve my goal of getting a good grade and learning the subject in the class, then i want to figure that out the first few days of being in class.


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