ERIC Number: EJ853616
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Preparing Students for Success in the New Global Economy
Roman, Harry T.
Tech Directions, v69 n1 p18-20 Aug 2009
The future globally competitive work environment will likely be one dominated by a need to redefine what makes engineering and technology workers successful. Traditionally, success has been defined as having "intelligent" graduates who have completed a rigorous college course that stresses problem solving and mastery of huge amounts of technical information. In the last 50 years, schools have been content to let the work-a-day skills their graduates will likely encounter on the job be administered by the hiring companies--or they leave it up to graduates to acquire them on their own. But the results of this approach have been mixed at best. In the world of work today, managers expect technically skilled employees to be ready for work at hire, not to require remedial attention to bring them up to par. Companies are not the benevolent patriarchal entities they once were. Engineers, technologists, and scientists no longer walk on water, and if they cannot pass muster, they will likely be either passed over in their career or shunted aside or removed to make way for better qualified individuals. Global competition will center around solving problems no doubt, but because of the enormous pressures of getting to market faster than competitors, this footrace is likely to change how people think about education. Education must focus no longer simply on content, but on both content and process. In this article, the author recommends a number of changes to the curriculum to prepare today's students for their future. These suggestions result from a close working relationship with many student teams over the years, giving invited guest lectures to many classes, mentoring doctorial candidates who participated in his company-sponsored research work at the school, and a decade's worth of teaching graduate evening students.
Descriptors: Global Approach, Work Environment, Job Training, Success, Problem Solving, Engineering, Technical Occupations, Technology Education, College Students, Higher Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A