Re: What Degree Would You Get?

Subject: Re: What Degree Would You Get?
From: Stuart Selber <sselber -at- HUBCAP -dot- CLEMSON -dot- EDU>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 1995 08:53:46 -0400

Gina says:

> Good question, Kelly, and Sue gave a great answer. However, with our
> industry changing so rapidly, I'm not sure it's wise to invest the time
> necessary to get another degree as I'm not confident that academia can
> keep up with current technology.

> Noted economist Paul Zane Pilzer points out that technical revolutions
> currently occur once every six years and in the future, they'll happen
> even faster. This is the result of rapidly increasing communication,
> both in breadth and in speed. That being the case, by the time one
> got a degree, their knowledge would be outdated.

This assumes that university degrees should be skills based and
application specific. And we all know that's shortsighted. A better
service, I think, is to provide people with broad frameworks from
within which to base technology and communication related
decisions. The particulars constantly evolve, no doubt, which is why
it's fruitless to place too much energy there. Most tech writers I've
met are real smart--they can learn programs and applications just
fine, even on their own (we are an inquisitive bunch). I would even
argue that students do get chances to develop timely skills within the
context of more broadly conceived courses and curricula (our students
are developing Web pages, navigation systems, and testing these pages
and systems using empirical methods). But the course is grounded in
rhetoric, which means that they not only learn a lot about the Web,
but that they can apply what they learn to other technologies and
contexts (we hope).


Stuart A. Selber
Department of English
Clemson University 803-656-1677 (voice)
Strode Tower, Box 341503 803-656-1345 (fax)
Clemson, SC 29634-1503 sselber -at- hubcap -dot- clemson -dot- edu (MAPC Program/under major construction) (Clemson University)

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