THE FUTURE IS NOW
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society has moved from the Industrial Age to the Information Age.
In the Industrial Age, the harnessing of steam and electricity and
the capabilities for mass production and rapid transportation opened
up new vistas and opportunities, and conferred power. In the Information
Age, knowledge is power.
knowledge accounts for a large part of an organization's value.
This means that knowledge workers - people who can add to the intellectual
capital and, thus, the value of their companies - are urgently needed.
Companies and organizations of every kind need employees who can
analyze problems and think critically to devise an appropriate course
of action. And universities must respond to this need.
the rapidly changing world of the Information Age, the specific
knowledge acquired at a university is not sufficient preparation
for the entire duration of a career. So, what can universities do
to ensure that our students graduate well-prepared for the future,
with the knowledge they need most?
our students must be acquainted with the new technologies, and be
capable of leading and excelling in a global, interconnected society.
Those without access to IT will fall behind. To that end, we must
make science and mathematics compelling subjects - starting long
before students arrive at the university. At the same time, we must
continue to value the arts, the humanities and the social sciences.
A broad-based education, balancing depth and breadth of knowledge,
still provides the best preparation for life.
is no question that information technology is a prodigious force
for change in higher education. It is also fair to say that higher
education prepares students to understand and manage change in their
own lives. As John F. Kennedy once said: "Change is the law of life.
And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to
miss the future."
Carnesale is chancellor of UCLA. This article was adapted
from remarks delivered November 8, 2000, at Waseda University in