Getting to Work - Tech Learning

Getting to Work

Outside the Technology & Learning offices, located in the South of Market area of San Francisco, the relative sparseness of both street and foot traffic are daily reminders that in today's job world, change is the operative word. Three years ago, Multimedia Gulch sidewalks were packed, parking lots had jacked up their
Author:
Publish date:

Outside the Technology & Learning offices, located in the South of Market area of San Francisco, the relative sparseness of both street and foot traffic are daily reminders that in today's job world, change is the operative word. Three years ago, Multimedia Gulch sidewalks were packed, parking lots had jacked up their prices, new restaurants were opening daily, and high rise construction was underway on what seemed like every corner for blocks. Since then, more than 200 restaurants have shut down, some parking lots have actually decreased their prices, you pretty much have the sidewalk to yourself, and gleaming, empty new office buildings are offering retail spaces at unheard of lows.

And yet, despite dark predictions in the wake of the dot-bombs that the Internet was dead and the promise of technology just a smoke and mirror fantasy, evidence to the contrary abounds. The central shared feature of all the publications and events I work near daily is technology. Network Computing, the Computer Security Institute, Secure Enterprise, Digital Video, InformationWeek, Bank Systems and Technology, Insurance and Technology, Diagnostic Imaging, to name just a few — all attest to the fact that technology is indeed entrenched in our lives and our jobs. IT, security, architectural and graphic design, medical, business, finance, and numerous other fields now need, and will continue to need, more and better-qualified tech-savvy workers, especially if our nation is to remain vital in the increasingly high-tech global economy.

This month's feature, "School to Career: Reworking the Model" by Barry Burke, provides an overview of the vision and philosophy behind one new approach to preparing kids for today's work place. It does not focus on technology careers per se, but the career cluster areas that form the basis of the academy model he profiles are direct matches to the job fields named above. To consider technology as a field separate from any of these seems like retro thinking indeed.

The industry-school partnerships Burke speaks of are a growing reality as well. A couple of doors down, our nearest neighbor, Game Developer, has recently released the 2003 Game Career Guide, a useful source of information and tips for students looking to enter the still-burgeoning software game industry. The issue includes a detailed chart of over 100 international game schools with tuition and financial aid information, degrees offered, contact information, and more (It's available for $5.95 at www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/store.php?item_id=296&category=9&book=).

But enough talk about all that's changed. It's also helpful to remind kids of what hasn't. Here are some words of wisdom from Jennifer Olsen, editor in chief of Game Developer magazine and Game Career Guide: "Behind the high-tech veneer of game development, it's still the more traditional qualities of well-roundedness, innate talent, intelligence, curiosity, and teamwork that remain the greatest indicators of success in the field."

Susan McLester, editor in chief, T&L smclester@cmp.com

Read other articles from the January Issue

Featured

Related

Integrating Visual Literacy

Today's digital natives are driving the move toward visual information. From its enviable perch atop a hill in San Francisco's Pacific Heights, Convent of the Sacred Heart High School for girls overlooks the city's Marina district and the encircling bay that bustles with ferries, freighters, and the occasional cruise

Career Education in the Digital Age

from Technology & Learning What vocational education has to teach mainstream programs about 21st century learning. Traditionally, the industrial arts wing of a typical American high school contrasted sharply with the rest of the school. Instead of silent hallways with classrooms of students sitting

Featuring Projects, Not Technology

Innovation is a word being tossed around an awful lot these days. For a while, we were all being asked to "think outside the box," to divest ourselves of "low-hanging fruit," to deal with it when somebody "moves your cheese." So, it is with some relief that we return to a term that has been in the English language for

Web 2.0: A Guide for Educators

from Technology & Learning Web 2.0: What's all the fuss about? No one would dispute that today's Internet has become a pervasive influence on the daily lives of a significant number of citizens across the world. It quickly revolutionized the way we access information, conduct business, and find entertainment.

Ten Top Tech Trends

from Technology & Learning A look at the major issues, products, and practices of the day. 1. Data mining is earning its keep. No Child Left Behind may not be the most popular education legislation of our time, but few would argue against the real benefits of focusing on data to provide evidence of

Tech Forum Highlights

The IBM Conference Center in Palisades, New York was the setting for this year's annual Fall Tech Forum event, where education thought leaders gathered for a rich, packed day of professional development sessions and networking with colleagues and industry experts. Topics included emerging technologies, ROI in

Leaders of theYear 2007

from Technology & Learning For the 20th year, T&L is proud to honor outstanding educators. In the following pages we bring you profiles of innovation, of courage, of determination, and most important, of dedication to the future of students. You will read about: a superintendent who turned around a "failing

A Crossroads in the Ed Tech Industry

from Technology & Learning An unmistakably chill wind blew through a room where digital curriculum publishers were lunching during a keynote at the Software and Information Industry Association conference in San Francisco this April. The featured speaker was Barbara Kurshan, executive director of Curriki,