Education and the Future

Education and the Future

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1542-6.ch009
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How can educators prepare their students for the many changes brought about by the information explosion? It is taking longer for students to finish their undergraduate degrees; more women are successful with earning their degrees that are men. Occupations are disappearing and new ones appearing at increasing speed. Education is one approach, but a changed and more responsive education system will be necessary. Students must learn how to be lifelong learners and discover their interests and talents through aptitude testing followed by counseling. Though of great age, the lecture remains one of the best ways to transmit information and will likely last, but in a modified form. These changes will profoundly affect politics, economics, the environment, and other areas of our lives.
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Education And The Future

Figure 1.



There are various consequences of the information explosion, many of them unanticipated. This proliferation of information and the knowledge made from it will affect all areas of society: occupations, political, economic, environmental. These changes will affect our very humanity. The question becomes—How do educators prepare the coming generations to deal with this change? Keeping up with the creation of new information will likely become more and more difficult. If it doubles every 12 hours, as some predict, humanity will soon be awash in information of all kinds. What shall, or can be done with it? How will that information be turned into knowledge? Teaching is difficult under normal circumstances but imagine what it will be like to cover more and more material. Where will it end? Coupled with the general dissatisfaction with school performance on standardized tests, one can foresee in the near future a sea change in how education is viewed and conducted. When one of the authors was in school, practically everyone finished college in four years; he finished in little more than three years. Now, the norm has advanced to six years and more. According to “Undergraduate Retention and Graduation Rates” (2017), “About 59 percent of students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year institution in fall 2009 completed that degree within 6 years; the graduation rate was higher for females than for males (62 percent vs. 56 percent)” (para. 1). There is also a lamentable failure to graduate that ranges from a high of 73% to a low of 27% (Fact Sheet: Focusing Higher Education on Student Success, 2015).



Occupational groups should be explored and examined. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook lists 25 occupation groups representing 343 occupations. The occupations range from jobs requiring not even a high school diploma to professions and doctor’s degrees. See Table 1 for a listing of these occupation groups. The occupations within these groups are expected to grow at an annual rate of seven percent for a 10-year period that was calculated to extend from 2016 to 2026 (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2019).

Table 1.
Occupation GroupOccupations
Occupation Group
1Architecture & Engineering Occupations25
2Arts and Design Occupations7
3Building and Grounds Cleaning Occupations3
4Business and Financial Occupations21
5Community and Social Service Occupations8
6Computer and Information Technology10
7Construction and Extraction19
8Education, Training, and Library13
9Entertainment and Sports8
10Farming, Fishing, and Forestry4
11Food Preparation and Serving6
13Installation, Maintenance, and Repair14
15Life, Physical, and Social Science29
18Media and Communication10
20Office and Administrative Support13
21Personal Care and Service9
23Protective Service6
25Transportation and Material Moving11
Total Occupations343

Compiled from Bureau of Labor Statistics on April 23, 2019.

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