Students Want More Tech (and Marketing) Skills

By Donald Sears  |  Posted 2009-03-13 Print this article Print

A recent study which polled 1,600 students online appears to show that 8 in 10 college students see a growing need for understanding technology better, and they want skills for technology-related jobs.

Citing the Obama administration's efforts in digitizing medical records, widening the adoption and infrastructure for broadband and wireless technologies and getting more efficient with energy, the report found the following (directly from the study):

  • College students are pervasive users of technology today: 99 percent own a cell phone, 93 percent own a laptop, 97 percent have a profile on a social networking site.
  • Three-quarters of college students are inspired by computers and technology and seven in 10 view technology as "the future."
  • Among the skill areas students said they needed to improve, technology, writing and marketing ranked in the top three.

None of this is too surprising given the flexibility and conveniences most of these portable technologies provide. What is surprising is that writing and marketing were grouped in with tech in the top three skills students wanted to improve. I suppose all the marketing of products in the 14-to-25-year-old demographic has not only worked--it's made students want to be a part of the machine.

One company that expects to benefit from U.S. technology investment and which needs smart, capable labor of the future had this to say in the press release:

"We are facing a very unique situation with the emergence of a digital grid and smart buildings," notes Peter Van Deventer, president & CEO of SynapSense Corporation. SynapSense, based near Sacramento, Calif., is a leading provider of wireless instrumentation solutions for energy-efficient data centers, and is poised to benefit from stimulus funding for smart grid projects.

"What we will see is an emerging blend of skills that cross over between the facility and the technology infrastructure itself. And this means we will need a work force with a balanced set of skills," he said.

The report was completed by Marist College Institute for Public Opinion of 1,613 college-enrolled undergraduates nationwide, and appears to be sponsored by IBM's academic initiative program. |

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