Education’s changing dynamics

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Schools, colleges, and universities have the responsibility to provide education and awareness to students

Schools, colleges, and universities have the responsibility to provide education and awareness to students. The students acquire first-hand experience from their faculty members and through textbooks. With the advancement in social media, digital media, and interconnectivity, the youth is aware more than their predecessors. They absorb content through social media and electronic media. They indulge in focused conversations with their peers and colleagues at schools, colleges, and universities about the world and how technology affects our daily life.

Education is one factor that has changed over time and is changing because of the way it is presented. Gone are the days when classroom lectures were the only mode of acquiring information. Such information is now accessible over the internet in the form of e-books, news, blogs, videos, interviews, etc.

Students do not waste time arguing with their faculty members over a point they do not agree with as they get the information from over the internet within seconds. Interestingly, this concept of acquiring information at any moment has enabled the youth to remain aware of the topics of their interest. Kids and teenagers know what new video game is releasing. Girls are aware of the new line of cosmetics that will be hitting the market. The youth is cognizant of the available electronic gadgets.

Social and digital media has made the youth aware of a diverse range of topics that may or may not be a direct part of their syllabus. For instance, students pursuing BBA may have more awareness about bitcoin and Web 3.0 than the subjects of accounting and finance which they have to study to get their degree.

Similarly, a student studying economics may already be pursuing an online freelancing career by offering services to national and international clients. The big picture, however, is that all learning and observations are connected. During the lockdown in 2020, those students and faculty members who were not attuned to using online video tools were compelled to learn and use them. This new normal became the trend and now webinars and online forums are held without any glitches or doubt.

Imagine a world where the youth does not have to go through the process of completing internships to gain experience. This is happening today as millions of youth across Pakistan and even more around the world are working as freelancers. They are using the wonders of digital media and worldwide connectivity to make an impact. Such freelancers acquire experience, gain first-hand insights, earn an income, and build connections at an early age. Their experience and insights are also different from those working in the corporate sector. This means the playing field that was once leveled for all is slightly changing. Digital media is bringing this change.

According to a 2018 report, various leading companies across the US such as Costco Wholesale, Hilton, Publix, Apple, Starbucks, and Nordstrom, prefer hiring candidates who have the right skill education set to perform a job than those with a college degree.

In Pakistan, university education is still considered to be a vital part of a student’s life not knowing that textbooks do not present an accurate picture of the market. Students need to be resilient in acquiring information, should be observant about the trends, and need to pursue self-education to keep pace with globally changing trends.