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Educational News

Can college students use technology to accelerate career building?

Without a doubt, wide availability of IT devices had a positive impact on learning and business training, but they are more a complement than an alternative to traditional education.

We all know the stories of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, former college dropouts who entered the world of business very young and made untold fortunes through their unconventional approach and bold decision-making. While these high-profile success stories have certainly provided a blueprint that talented up-and-coming experts can try to emulate, an average student can’t count on miraculous wealth if he jumps headlong into the tech sector.

More likely, familiarity with technology will be just another factor in a complex equitation that determines who becomes successful and who doesn’t. Traditional vocational training is still indispensible in most professions, and hands-on experience acquired in the field can’t be replaced by virtual systems. Tech-savvy individuals can’t avoid the requirement for solid all-around education, but they can gain an edge over their colleagues by focusing on the following advantages of modern technology:

Taking advantage of online learning platforms

Nowadays, students are not limited to the basic curriculum offered by their university like they were just a generation ago. They can freely explore the topics of their interest on the web, going as far as their curiosity can take them. If they desire to pick up in-depth knowledge and practical skills, they can look at specialized online databases that feature high-quality content created by highly established authors, or try their hand on practical tests designed to simulate the realistic conditions prevalent in professional practice. These e-learning systems are not a proper replacement for a college degree, although they can be a very valuable addition to it.   

Doing business from your phone

The simplicity of mobile communications is making the process of job seeking much more intimate, which allows younger professionals to get the proverbial foot in the door more readily. In some cases, it might be possible to be hired on a part-time basis for remote work during the studies, using communication apps and live streaming conferences instead of real-life meetings. Of course, such intense use of the mobile phone could be costly, so students with big ambitions would probably be wise to look for a plan that lets them communicate freely at a reasonable price. Having a long-lasting battery (or a backup phone) is probably a good idea, too.

Unprecedented networking opportunities

Establishing contact with older colleagues and potential employers has never been easier – almost all of them are present on the major social networks, where it’s relatively easy to send an introductory message. It is even better if the message includes a recommendation from another friend that already has a name in the industry, since this brings the air of credibility that might be enough to give you a chance. Building a network of connections is a good practice regardless of your immediate intentions regarding key career moves – you never know when you might need a hot tip about an open job that suits your abilities.

Showcasing your work

In some fields of work, presenting your opus used to be a physically demanding process, as production and delivery of the proofs had to be done physically. Digital technology sent such problems into the recycling bin of history – photographers, programmers and a lot of other professionals can simply send a link from which the content can be downloaded or bring a USB device to a meeting. In practice, that means you can go on a job interview with far less preparation than before, which is a big deal if you have to study for the final exams at the same time.