Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor_Roosevelt) once said that “Do one thing every day that scares you.” If you don’t, you won’t learn anything new.
Companies constantly look forward to modernize their operations and try using modern tools and methodologies to keep themselves abreast over the competition. But students are slow in adapting to the skills needed by the industry. This gap of learning what industry needs is largely filled by Internet. Modern teaching should adopt new methods of training students by including topics that are hot and the ones that industry is adopting. That enables students to keep themselves abreast with latest in their field of studies.
Students on their part should look at the amazing innovations that happen and presented to us thru Internet. One example is Facebook with 500 million users and beating google as the number one site for content is a innovative business that our previous generation might have not thought
Modern trends in industry are creating new job categories and abolishing some existing ones.
Here are some trends I listed below for the benefit of students to verify what they learnt in college verses where the companies in their field of activity are.
Here are some innovative solutions for saving earth ranging from Cement with less carbon to plastic that is biodegradable.
6. Ad-Air is an ingenious approach to using less plastic. Plastic sheets are injected with waste carbon dioxide, expanding them to double the thickness with 20% less density. As a result, the plastic is just as strong, but a given application can take 3 times less material
Data , data everywhere
There is large amount of data online in the form of video, audio and other formats. Companies need individuals who are good with extracting meaning full and intelligent information from this vast source of data. There are a lot of opportunities for students who learn data mining techniques.
Until universities adapt their analytics curricula to match these market realities, the battle for filling job vacancies will be intense. This is a big opportunity for computer software engineers to learn analytics. There will be new job categories where the job role will be to process, and transform data into traffic predictions, news aggregations, or real estate valuations.
The consequence of sensor networks, cloud computing, and machine learning is that the data landscape is broadening: data is abundant, cheap, and more valuable than ever Internet companies have made an art out of creating algorithms that can mine data and unleash innovation and opportunities.
Google uses search information with its sophisticated algorithms to give us focused advertisements. . These same types of smart analytics will create the next-generation of innovation around energy, form the foundation of new business opportunities for green tech companies and help both individuals and organizations finally reduce their energy consumption.
Machine learning is a discipline that blends statistics with computer science to classify and predict patterns in data. Its algorithms lie at the heart of spam filters, self-driving cars, and movie recommendation systems While data storage and distributed computing technologies are being commoditized, machine learning is increasingly a source of competitive advantage among data-driven firms
Let see other trends.
Below I gave some latest trends and Wikipedia links. You can search for more trends using Wikipedia or search engines.
Smart grid: A smart grid is a form of electricity network utilizing digital technology. A smart grid delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using two-way digital communications to control appliances at consumers’ homes; this could save energy, reduce costs and increase reliability and transparency if the risks inherent in executing massive information technology projects are avoided.
Click for more info : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_Grid
Many different concepts have been used to model intelligent power grids. Search more on the following to go deeper into the subjects:
Kuramoto oscillators, Bio-systems, Random fuse networks, Neural networks, Markov processes, Maximum entropy
During the next few years, plug-in hybrid and all electric vehicles will be mass-produced for the first time. The promise of reducing emissions, fuel consumption, and the cost of driving will prompt fleet operators and consumers to purchase more of these vehicles between 2010 and 2015, according to Pike Research’s forecasts. Students who are pursuing mechanical and electrical engineering should watch the above trends to learn more and ready for new kind of jobs.
For telecommunications folks:
What is 3G : International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT — 2000), better known as 3G or 3rd Generation, is a generation of standards for mobile phones and mobile telecommunications services fulfilling specifications by the International Telecommunication Union. Application services include wide-area wireless voice telephone, mobile Internetaccess, video calls and mobile TV,
More can be read here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3G
What is 4G: 4G is the next upgrade to the phone company’s wireless networks, which will deliver mobile data, cell phone web browsing and wireless downloading at speeds in the multiple Mbps range. More can be read here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4G
For all engineering students
What is RFID: Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is a technology that uses communication via radio waves to exchange data between a reader and an electronic tag attached to an object, for the purpose of identification and tracking. Some tags can be read from several meters away and beyond the line of sight of the reader. The application of bulk reading enables an almost parallel reading of tags.
More can be read here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio-frequency_identification
Mobile RFID (M-RFID) can be defined as services that provide information on objects equipped with an RFID tag over a telecommunication network.”. The reader is installed in a mobile device such as a mobile phone or PDA.
Mobile applications : Mobile application development is the process by which applications are developed for small low-power handheld devices such as personal digital assistants, enterprise digital assistants or mobile phones. These applications are either pre-installed on phones during manufacture, or downloaded by customers from app stores and other mobile software distribution platforms. For More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_application_development
There will be plenty of jobs for students who know mobile application development.
Nanotechnology : Nanotechnology (sometimes shortened to “nanotech“) is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with structures sized between 1 to 100 nanometer in at least one dimension, and involves developing materials or devices within that size. Quantum mechanical effects are very important at this scale, which is in the quantum realm.
Nanotechnology categories : Bionanoscience, Energy applications of nanotechnology, List of software for nanostructures modeling, Materiomics, Molecular design software, Molecular mechanics, Nanoengineering, Nanobiotechnology, Nanofluidics, Nanohub, Nanometrology, Nanoscale networks, Nanotechnology education, Nanotechnology in water treatment, Nanothermite, Nanoweapons, Top-down and bottom-up, Translational research, Wet nanotech
List of other emerging technologies:
This list of currently emerging technologies contains some of the most prominent ongoing developments, advances, and innovations in various fields of modern technology. Emerging technologies are those technical innovations which represent progressive developments within a field for competitive advantage. Opinions vary on the feasibility, importance, status, and economic viability of different emerging technologies.
More Software related
In computing, NoSQL (Not Only SQL) is a term used to designate database management systems that differ from classic relational database management systems in some way. These data stores may not require fixed table schemas, and usually avoid join operations and typically scale horizontally.
Many social networks such as shutterfly http://www.shutterfly.com/ uses it.
Cloud computing: Corporations can theoretically save big money by moving e-mail, accounting, and other applications off individual PCs and into data centers—that is, the cloud. Rather than requiring software engineers to swarm offices for the constant updating of applications such as Microsoft Office, updates can happen once at the data center.
Innovative business models:
http://www.groupereye.com/ This “survival of the fittest” project was started by and for college students looking for contract gigs. Businesses post a case on GrouperEye’s website and leave it open to students to solve. The company picks the best solution, and the student who came up with the idea is paid.
Duke University professor Cathy Davidson started a new class called “This Is Your Brain on the Internet.” It introduces students to crowdsourcing by letting them accept some of the responsibility of running the class, including grading and teaching.