HBCU Students Are You Building Global Tech Skills
by William Jackson, Edward Waters College – Jacksonville, Florida
“Where you’ll be tomorrow is a result of the choices that
you make today.” Lolita Harrison
The goal to be successful must start with a quality education, collaborated
with planned networking opportunities that build relationships, a vision for
the path which you want to take not just while attending an HBCU, but
what direction to take after graduation. This process must start years
before graduation comes to mind at least by the junior year of a student’s
higher education academic career.
The influences of educational success, goal orientation, personal dreams
and ambitions play a role in the journey to success to and after graduation.
The commencement services from higher education are not the end all and
be all, the continuation of growth after graduation is important. An HBCU
student’s mindset of education must be diligent in continuing their education
and increased skill attainment.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated that education, “is to teach one to think
intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal
of true education. “
The undergraduate years are the foundation for the start of a career,
networking is key for the expansion of employment opportunities and
gaining new skill sets that make a person marketable in the real world.
Creating relationships in the desired fields of study are valuable and necessary
in a competitive world. We live in a global economy so the first step into a
career may not even begin in the person’s native land. I have always aspired
to teach STEAM in Africa and India so networking and collaboration are important.
Making the proper connections, being qualified and certified in your discipline
and having a passion for that area are important, patience also to wait for
opportunities to unmask themselves.
”Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism
or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Exposure is key to understand the skill sets needed to be successful, effective
and promoting change. A person cannot be selfish in their desire to grow,
because each of us stands on the shoulders of others to achieve our goals
and aspirations. If you do not believe this statement look at the person(s)
who are supporting you; parents, siblings, your church or those who even
are praying for your success, no one is alone in their growth and development.
In the case of HBCU’s there is a historical, cultural and even spiritual
connection with the elders that have passed through the doorways, hallways,
classrooms, lecture halls and even cafeterias that are on HBCU campuses.
HBCU campuses are just as important culturally and intellectually as PWI
or predominately white institutions.
It goes without saying if you want to be a doctor learn from and hang with
doctors, if you want to be an engineer learn from and hang with engineers;
each has its personal costs and personal sacrifices. Chose well who you
associate yourself with even in an online environment.
“If you don’t put anything in, you won’t get anything out” William Jackson
this is what I tell my Educational Technology class about career choices
and working to success. Each discipline requires a certain amount of
effort in studying, research, application, modification, growth and
development. You cannot wait to be offered a chance to start a
career, you have to go after what you want and sometimes take it.
Greg Squires, a professor of sociology and public policy at George
Washington University, said, “I think there is justification for Black
schools to remain the way they were built, as vehicles for expanding
opportunity for Black people and strengthening cultural pride and
achievement..“ There are growing demands for those with backgrounds
in STEAM experience, applying the elements of Science Technology
Engineering Arts Mathematics in settings such as education, the
space industry, medical applications, research and development in
cures for cancer, diabetes, alzheimer’s, mental illness and other
health related careers.
HBCU students must understand that global implications of gaining
and sharpening global skills that open doors to international applications
to study and work abroad. Internationally HBCU institutions are already
known because of the success of past graduates that their influences in
global careers have had. Black and Hispanic students that make up
the majority of students at HBCU’s must know they are just as important,
valuable and relevant as their white counterpoints.
The explosion of Cyber attacks now has governments worldwide not
just the U.S. government expanding it’s cyber-security divisions.
Students in technology disciplines are being sought as new job openings
are becoming available. Even drone pilots are in demand because of the
shortage of pilots. HBCU students must be able to diversify their skill
sets to meet and match the demands of a changing world and changing
global structures and economics. Companies and governments are
outsourcing their talented men and women, creating a brand and
marketing not for today but for the future.
HBCU students need to understand the dynamics of marketing and
branding themselves. Marketing has to be strategic and aligned
with the Branding in the discipline you are in. Make sure you handle
the roots of your Marketing by managing your Brand that develops the
fruits and your social media content the affects the roots and the fruits.
HBCU students need to be adaptable and flexible when opportunities
arise they can apply for careers that have future implications in new
areas of technology.
There is a His-story and a Her-story, and a We-story and a Us-story
at HBCU institutions. Each student should be able to work to add
Their-story to all the success stories. Build your global tech skills to
have an influence in a world that is growing smaller because of the
integration and implementation of new technologies.
HBCU Students Are You Building Global Tech Skills