The future of education

According to Intel IT Galaxy UK, there ought to be a new way of thinking about the relationship between educators, employers and employees. It will require environments and techniques that are different from the way we have been taught. Intel believes the educational building blocks for innovation and knowledge-based economies are science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

In case you hadn’t noticed, things are changing and fast. Mature countries are moving from post-industrial, manufacturing-based economies into knowledge-based economies. As they build on ideas, innovation and entrepreneurial cultures, our education systems need to adapt fast.

The first generation of technology natives are now leaving higher education for the job market, creating some interesting challenges. The skills and aspirations of this new generation seems to be somewhat disconnected from the realities of the workplace today. The fault is not their own. They’ve grown up with technology and social networking as an integrated part of their everyday life. But some employers have been slow to adapt in the type of work available and in the environment and policies that accompany it.

There also are worrying signs pointing to a lack of interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, commonly referred to as STEM. Even while the growth in math-intensive science and engineering jobs outpace overall job growth by three to one.

There ought to be a new way of thinking about the relationship between educators, employers and employees. It will require environments and techniques that are different from the way we have been taught. Intel believes the educational building blocks for innovation and knowledge-based economies are science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

We should focus on 21st Century skills of collaboration, problem solving, communication and creativity. Access to technology and the Internet needs to be pervasive, so a new generation of entrepreneurs’ will create their own opportunities, refusing to settle for the ‘traditional’ workplace.

As Intel’s CEO, Paul Otellini recently said: “Returning to sustained economic growth means taking a long-term view with a mindset of investment. Innovation results from combining people who have good ideas with investment. These are the guiding forces that lead to ideas which spawn new businesses that create new jobs, and ultimately lead to wealth creation and higher standards of living.”

Investing in education is important for Intel. Its investments today contribute to better schooling and market conditions in the future. Every year, the company invests over $100 million in education globally. It has launched education programmes in over 60 countries. It believes in the critical role teachers play in the education of an agile workforce. To that end, Intel has trained more than 8 million teachers through our Intel Teach programme on how to use technology effectively in the classroom, and on how to prepare children for the journey of lifelong learning.

As a manufacturer of leading-edge technology, Intel shares the same interest as modern societies. That interest is in harnessing the talents of scientists and engineers to drive relentless innovation for the benefit of people. It is what drives Intel to invest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programmes around the world.

Matthew Stibbe is writer-in-chief at Articulate Marketing. He is also an avid blogger, closet geek and HP fanatic.