Bryan Ruby


Thoughts, Words, and Deeds

Education

Findings from TERMINALFOUR's 2017 Global Higher Education Survey

Digital Insights Report 2017

Results highlight significant concerns among higher education institutions about student recruitment targets due to proposed visa/travel restrictions as well as accessibility priorities. 

TERMINALFOUR, a digital marketing and web content management platform has a long history of serving the higher education community. This week they announced the results of its 2017 Global Higher Education Survey. The results highlight significant concerns among higher education institutions about student recruitment targets due to proposed visa/travel restrictions.  In a survey of 391 higher education professionals from 333 unique higher education institutions, 56% stated that travel restrictions will directly impact their institution’s ability to meet recruitment targets.

The survey was carried out among web, marketing, recruitment and leadership professionals in higher education across the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Australia and South Africa.

The survey also found that 37% of higher education professionals have high levels of job insecurity. When asked to rate their personal job security in the context of Government policy, student recruitment challenges and internal restructuring, just 28% of respondents stated that they feel highly secure in their current role.

The Power of Knowing Nothing

Sometimes I can't help myself from saying some of the darndest things via Twitter or comments in other people's blogs. I postedthe following in this Gadgetopia article regarding Google and PHP:

This is a perfect example for why I say it's better to claim you know nothing instead of something.

When you claim you know something there is always someone bound to prove you know nothing. When you claim you know nothing there are always people out there that assume you know a lot more than you know.

Over the years I've become a genius by knowing nothing.

U.S. Falling Behind as Academics Goes Global

Those that have read my blog know that I do get on my soapbox from time to time about the state of education in the United States.  I can't help but be concerned about the future for America's young adults.  Too many students are not opting to stay in school to continue their education. If U.S. students continue their lack of motivation in pursuing an education, I can't help but be gloomy on America's place in the 21st century as a world leader.

Taking a different viewpoint, BusinessWeek recently posted an article on academics in the United States stating that U.S. schools are not doing that bad.  The schools could be doing better, but they're not terrible.  The article uses the Two Million Minutes documentary as its backdrop.  The BusinessWeek author points out that academic performance doesn't always dictate the success a person may have in the world of business.

But things aren't as dire for U.S. students as they might appear in the documentary. As an academic, I have been researching engineering education and have taught many graduates of Indian, Chinese, and American universities. It can take longer for Indians and Chinese to develop crucial real-world skills that come more easily for some Americans. Yes, U.S. teens work part-time, socialize, and party. But the independence and social skills they develop give them a big advantage when they join the workforce. They learn to experiment, challenge norms, and take risks.

United States students continue to fall behind in IT education

All I can do is shake my head in the direction education has taken in the United States. I've written about this topic in the past, a little here and on another blog of mine. In one of those blog posts, I wrote the following.

American society as a whole seems to have less value for education, especially in the sciences and math, than when I was growing up. Maybe I’m more sensitive to these numbers since I am a scientist at heart…but isn’t anyone else disturbed by this trend? While I feel there should have been something done to help reverse this downward spiral sooner, I’m glad at least that it is finally getting some some well deserved attention by the Bush administration.

College students in the United States are not showing up in those university programs that are focused on physical science, computer science, math, and engineering. There are a number of politicians, parents, and students that will blame the public school education system for the current state of education in the United States. I have some serious doubts whether fingers should really be pointed in the direction of the teachers or even school system. I think in many ways, those fingers should be pointed right back to the parents and their children. Perhaps life in America is so good that by the time the student becomes a young adult, life hasn't prepared them to face the challenges and disappointments they need to do well in the sciences.

Are certification programs a scam?

I have never really worried whether I was certified or not. This Computerworld article gets right to the point:

Depending on whom you talk to, certification programs are either borderline rip-offs that provide little useful knowledge, or valuable hiring tools that make it easier for IT execs to pick the most promising new employees.

Available from vendors focusing on their own products, or outside organizations offering multi-vendor training, these certificate programs are expanding to fill the many specialized technology subsets that have multiplied along with the growth of data storage and other IT areas.

Now this isn't to say that I don't have a few IT certifications under the belt and didn't receive some benefit from them. One of the most intensive IT certifications of recent years was in IT security and another to "please" the crowd was a certification for migration to Microsoft's Server 2003. By the time I was done with those certifications though, I didn't know enough to get the job done.