The good-paying jobs, fabulous employment perks and the future of businesses increasingly hinge on technology, according to Corinne Hoisington, the featured speaker at the University of Findlay’s Sept. 29 Fridays at Findlay breakfast.
Hoisington, a digital technology expert and higher education instructor with more than 25 years of teaching experience, urged business owners, students, and women in particular to educate themselves on the practical ways that technology can improve their lives and those of others. People also need to keep in mind how it is inciting tangible workforce changes, she said.
“Robotics are really changing things more than anything else,” she noted, especially in service industries. Human workers are being replaced by cost-saving, expedient machines that don’t require food, sleep, time off or medical insurance, she explained. Companies are continuing to research methods such as driverless automobiles, delivery drones and automated shopping.
Hoisington, also the author of more than 20 text books, mentioned Amazon Go, a prototype brick and mortar grocery store in Seattle, Washington, that is using “deep visioning algorithms” and “just walk out technology” which don’t require cashiers, registers, or waiting in lines for purchasing. She said corporations such as Walmart and Target “have contacted Amazon to purchase this concept.”
She said that “as of January, 13.1 million (in the U.S.) worked in retail. I’m afraid that number may be a tad different by year’s end.”
Virtual reality, via equipment such as Oculus Rift that simulates experiences remotely, are increasingly being used by real estate companies and farming equipment retailers. Hoisington said in October, Google will debut Google Lens, a free application with visual identification technology that enables phones to instantly showcase information about anything it “sees,” from a random flower to a restaurant.
Hoisington also emphasized the necessity of businesses using social media for growth and product development. Pinning and sharing are now vital to marketing and sales, and to gauging customer interest, demand and shopping habits. Adaptation, in terms of keeping up to speed on the latest technology and tailoring products for customers, is a must, she said.
“Nowadays, to take your brand and push it out to a worldwide market, social media needs to take a roll,” she explained.
Educationally, Hoisington said employability should be the primary factor for students when deciding what to study in college, and that colleges themselves must incorporate technology learning into all classes “for every single major so we’re not just trained in theory.”
The United States has some catching up to do when it comes to technological expertise, Hoisington maintained.
In this country, “less than 1 percent of majors have a technology-heavy focus” whereas up to 40 percent in countries such as China and Russia are, she said. There are thousands of available jobs at tech companies in this country. Demand is far outweighing the supply of workers who have the skills necessary to be hired for them, she said.
Hoisington noted that only 6.7 percent of women who are college graduates major in tech-heavy studies, despite the fact that female STEM graduates earn 97 cents on the dollar compared to men, versus only 72 cents on the dollar overall.
“How can we encourage more young ladies? A lot of it is confidence,” said Hoisington. “Some people say, ‘Well, I’m not good at math.’ I want to encourage everyone to build that confidence, to try something new. Yeah, it doesn’t always work. Try again. I think we all can have everything developed. Take it slow. Learn at your own pace.”
There are 27 job openings for every college graduate who earns a math degree, she noted.
Hoisington’s additional advice for students:
- Incorporate key words on job applications that employers use in job descriptions. “A human might not be your first tier of reading a resume; software might be,” she pointed out.
- Check out Glassdoor, a website that offers information on the most in-demand jobs and their salary ranges. These days, all are technical positions that focus on digital data.
- No matter your major, take courses in math, data analytics and social media marketing.
Hoisington is on Twitter at @SAMTechNow.
Sponsored by First Federal Bank, Fridays at Findlay is a lecture series that provides opportunities to hear from a variety of organizational leaders about superior leadership practices. The next speaker will be Hillsdale College President Larry Arnns, Ph.D. His Oct. 27 presentation is titled “Churchill: On Leadership and Genius.”