Emerging Technologies New Demands for Students and Faculty

Emerging Technologies New Demands for Students and Faculty

Emerging Technologies: New Demands for Students and Faculty







With reference to the case study provided as carried out in North America, high rate of technological development poses a challenge to the twenty first century graduates in terms of the skills, technical competencies and their knowledge base at the job market. They are not only expected to have theoretical knowledge but also the practical hands on, analytical problem solving, expert thinking and complex communication skills. Though new and emerging technologies offer a lot of job opportunities ranging from telecommunication, space, energy, nanotechnology and so on, they also become a threat at the work place as the use of computers in attempt to increase productivity, brings about unemployment. Similarly, with new technological advancement, outsourcing for expertise as is the trend in most workplaces, does not necessarily benefit the workers but denies them opportunity to develop. This means, the faculty has to go back to the drawing board and revise or enhance the curricula to equip the next generation graduates with the right skills.

Major Problems with new and emerging technologies

Technological development does not only come with benefits but also with problems that need to be addressed by all stakeholders. The paragraphs below explain some of the major problems that are associated with new and emerging technologies.

To begin with, unemployment is one of the major problems that come as a result of these new and emerging technologies as explained in the case study. Almost all the workplaces in North America are working hard to keep themselves in the market. This means that they are working towards ensuring that their productivity is increased at all costs. The use of computers has ensured that they meet their desire except that this has come with a negative impact. A single computer replacing several workers is causing retrenchment and lack of employment opportunities. For example a job that was to be done by five hundred workers in ten days, can now be done by a single user computer in hours (Carl & Michael, 2013).

The rate of technological innovation continues to increase with extra complicated software technologies. These new innovations continue to interrupt labor markets by making workers unnecessary as the previous technology is rendered redundant. This means the concerned companies therefore have the option of either retraining their employees or retrenching them. Since retraining calls for employing high cost, most industries and company employers end up choosing the option of retrenchment (Brynjolfsson and McAfee, 2011).

We can also look at the scenario where those with technical knowhow also suffer with their skills by considering the history of technological revolutions and employment. In this case, we should note that the problem of technological unemployment is not a recent experience. Along the history, the process of creative destruction due to technological inventions has created huge wealth. Nevertheless, the same innovations have also created undesired disruptions. The emphasis by Schumpeter (1962) cited in Freya & Osborne (2013), it was not lack of ideas for invention that led to the boundaries for economic development, but instead a influential social along with economic interests that encourages the status quo for technology. The case of William Lee’s invention of the stocking frame knitting machine in 1589 is a good example where he expected that his invention would relieve workers of hand knitting. His attempt to seek for patent protection for the invention did not succeed when Queen Elizabeth ( I) became extra concerned with the impact of the invention on the employment. In other words, allowing patent for the knitting machine means that several workers were to lose their jobs. As a result, the Queen decided to sacrifice the new invention for the sake of workers (Freya & Osborne, 2013).

Secondly, outsourcing of the expertise to assist in the new and emerging technologies is another problem that relates to new technologies. Outsourcing here means hiring expertise from external service providers instead of sourcing for the same internally. By so doing, efficiency improves at the expense of adaptability of the internal employees. Such employees will lack the opportunity to develop their skills further. There will be no marriage between adaptability of the workers and their efficiency of working with the new technology as will be best met with in-sourcing. Again, the employees here are denied opportunity to train and gain the same expertise required (Weigelt & Sarkar, 2012).

Cyber crime: with new technological development, cyber crime becomes a common problem. It is evident that as new and emerging technologies come, the cyber criminals increase their knowledge base on how to hack the new systems developed (that is, there is a lot of data insecurity with new technologies). Assuming that a cyber criminal is arrested today, there are no clear legislations or regulations that may make such criminals to be brought to book (Ghaffour, Missimer, & Amy, 2013).

Technological obsolescence is also a problem and challenge that come with new and emerging technologies as well. The funny aspect with technology is that it is never stagnant. Every now and then a new technology emerges. When a new technology arrives, the existing one becomes obsolete as nobody or organization may wish to be left behind the new development in technology. The bitter truth is that the new and emerging technologies come with a price to be paid. Firstly, for a workplace embracing a new technology, the employees have to be trained incase outsourcing is not sought. It is very costly to acquire the new technology and also to get to train the workers to meet the new skills required by the new technology.

Lack of willingness to change is another important factor to take note of. Apparently, nobody wishes to be left behind with emerging issues as it pertains to technological advancement except that embracing change is not that easy. For example, as much as the institutions of higher learning are on the run to keep up to date with technology, they are so reluctant to embrace the changes and challenges that come with it. The lengthy procedures in accepting a change as in these institutions hinders new technological advancement. Similarly, incorporating technology in teaching in the twenty first century to meet the increasing student demand to utilize new technologies is so slow.

It is important to note that, the development of new technologies come with a lot of advantages, for example, development of web tools such as wikis, social media smart phones give the learners more control on access to, creation and sharing of knowledge amongst themselves. It is therefore an important factor to try and solve some of these problems that arrive with technology as they are bound to haunt the future job market. The following is a brief description on how some of the said problems can be solved.

Underlying problems

The original or the basic problem that acts as the foundation of all other problems discussed above is the wide gap between the state of emerging technologies in the industry and the state of technology in the academia. This can be seen clearly from the case study where the author tries to explain how this gap can be reduced. From the analysis of the case study, this wider gap has been brought about by failure by various faculties to frequently revise their curricula and maintain their technical currency. Nevertheless, this kind of revision and curricula enhancement is quite challenging given that institutional vision, planning and allocation of suitable resources are required.

It is also apparent from the analysis of the case study that this wide gap between the state of emerging technologies in the industry and the state of technology in the academia is also due to lack of synchronization between curriculum development and various training activities in relation to technical currency. This means that optimal teaching and learning through continuous quality improvement has not been sufficiently achieved. As a result, most students though have gone through the curriculum; they are still not proficient enough in web and wireless technologies according to the case study.

The consequence of the gap described above is the high number of college and university graduates with insufficient knowledge and skills which are not current and more relevant to the industry. This also means that universities and colleges are not working closely with the existing technology industries to improve the quality of training for the students. The same industries will not prefer to employ the half baked graduates who may not perform to the required standards. This is what has led to outsourcing expertise as explained earlier hence leading to increase in unemployment for most graduates.


It is clear that as much as complains have to arise from problems caused by the new and emerging technologies, life has to move on. In a nut shell, the best remedies for these problems have to be sought. Below are some of the ways that these problems can be minimized if not solved;

Curbing the unemployment issue may not be easy but all the same, the rate at which technology is advancing should be directly proportional to the rate at which industries are being created. This will see into to it that those retrenched due to advancement in technology can again be redeployed to the new industries being developed. There are several benefits arising from creating of more industries. It creates more employment opportunities to the big population being retrenched and at the same time increases the company’s profit base, except that the company has to shoulder the initial disadvantage of spending a lot in the startup procedures.

Outsourcing too seems cheaper in the short run but very expensive in the long run. In my opinion, the relevant stakeholders should consider training all their employees on basic aspects of the new and emerging technologies. With the right and up to date skills acquired, the workers’ adaptability and efficiency of doing work will be enhanced and it will also ensure that the organization is well grounded in case of any complexities in the production process. The morale of workers will be boosted as well, a factor that will translate directly to high productivity. The only disadvantage of not outsourcing arises from the cost disparity occasioned by intensive training needed for the right expertise on the new or emerging technology, all which must be taken care of by the employer.

Tough laws and legislations should be put in place more so by the government to eradicate cyber crime. Anyone found guilty of breaking these laws should be charged and prosecuted. Similarly, the government should work closely with the experts in this technological field for example system developers to make sure the data security is checked and kept up to date with the new and emerging technologies. By so doing, the cyber crime would be tamed and that means that the network users will enjoy using various networks and trust the network with their sensitive information.

Other solutions also include frequent revision of curricula and maintaining of technical currency. Academic institutions should also have clear visions as well as be able to plan and allocate appropriate resources in order to reduce the challenges of curriculum enhancement. The wide gap between the state of emerging technologies in the industry and the state of technology in the academia can also be reduced by means of synchronizing curriculum development activities with the faculty development and training activities. This kind of synchronization will help in maximization of learning and teaching by employing frequent enhancement in quality.

The process of narrowing the gap between the state of emerging technologies in the industry and the state of technology in the academia as the solution will be advantageous in that the faculty technical currency will become highly significance when the majority of students will belong to the generation millennial. This means that most of them will be very much acquainted with the new and emerging technologies for them to easily fit in relevant industries.

However, for this process to be achieved, academic institutions will have to allocate a lot of resources to ensure that the curricula is enhanced in a way of allowing students to be trained up to the industry level through the close relationship between industries and universities. Therefore, the fact that more resources are needed is a big limitation.


From the solutions above it is very clear that implementing all of them would require a very long period of time say, a decade, to solve. I therefore settle on the following as the best choice that would go hand in hand in ensuring that most of these problems are solved at a go.

The educational background of the work force is the key issue here. Ensuring that the graduates from various institutions graduate with the right skills to enable them face the harsh realities in the job market is the best approach in solving problems that arise from technological advancement. Here, the curricula of such institutions of higher learning has to be checked and revised to keep up to date with new and emerging technologies. Similarly, the culture of embracing technology must be developed right at the institutional level to ensure graduates who come out have the confidence of tackling basic complex staff that comes with new technology. This can easily be accomplished by ensuring that new policies in institutions of higher learning are changed to support the new technology. For example, rewarding of innovation and entrepreneurship is one way to give the learners the morale of embracing a culture of technology (James & Beattie, 1997).

Moreover, with the right skills, unemployment will be a thing of the past as well as outsourcing. The employers will enjoy all in one roof benefits brought about by the development of the right expertise right from colleges. The employees will no longer be threatened with the changes occasioned by new and emerging technological issues as they will have the right attitude and approach that will enable them to meet the technological needs at any technological age. You cannot outsource for what you already have. It therefore means that the workplaces will have very little to do than just to tune their workers to fit in the new system as it comes. Having the right skills involve having the right attitude and culture that support any change that will be deemed important to the organization.


To come to a close, it is evident from the discussion above that that the new and emerging technologies have a lot of challenges on fresh graduates due to insufficiency of curricula. It is also apparent that all other problems discussed in this text as due to problems experienced with the academia the curricula. Therefore, the recommendations suggested above will be very instrumental in the process of alleviating the new and emerging technology related problems in relation to students.


Weigelt, C., & Sarkar, M. B. (2012). Performance implications of outsourcing for technological innovations: managing the efficiency and adaptability trade‐off. Strategic Management Journal, 33(2), 189-216.

Ghaffour, N., Missimer, T. M., & Amy, G. L. (2013). Technical review and evaluation of the economics of water desalination: current and future challenges for better water supply sustainability. Desalination, 309, 197-207.

Carl, B. F. & Michael, A. O. (2013). The future of employment: how susceptible are jobs to computerization

James & Beattie, (1997). Keys to Successful Implementation of technology in Classrooms.

Brynjolfsson, E. and McAfee, A. (2011). Race against the machine: How the digital revolution is accelerating innovation, driving productivity, and irre-versibly transforming employment and the economy. Digital Frontier Press Lexington, MA.

Carl Benedikt Freya & Michael A. Osborne.(2013). The future of employment: how susceptible are jobs to computerization?