Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

Following is a guest blog from Dr. Lee M. Miringoff and Dr. Barbara L. Carvalho from Marist College. Results of the Marist-IBM study can be found here on

President Obama said this week that education is key to the U.S. regaining its competitiveness. Speaking to the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C., he said that four out of 10 jobs will require at least some advanced education. He also pointed to health care reform and adopting energy efficiency processes as critical to the future of our country.

There are high expectations that the $787 billion stimulus package will provide unique opportunity to invest in new and emerging industries by supporting innovation and moving technology education forward.

In partnership with IBM, the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion is studying how technology should extend horizontally throughout college curriculums to prepare students for the future.

The first part of the research was an online study of 1,613 college enrolled undergraduates nationwide last fall and the results are valuable to inform today’s agenda. Let’s take a look. Nearly three-quarters, 73%, of American college students are inspired by computers and technology. More than seven in ten, 71%, value technology as “the future.” In addition, the students’ welcome mat extends to a view of technology as “necessary,” and “helpful.”

The good news: students are engaged in the technological revolution. There is a foundation to build upon for more advanced applications of technology, but the landscape is a little slippery. More than one-quarter, 27%, overall, and 35% of freshman, considered computers or information technology as a field of study. Some groups, more than others, contemplated becoming an IT major: more men than women (38% vs. 16%), freshman over upperclassmen (35% vs. an average of 24% for others), and self-described “loners” over “achievers” (43% vs. 23%).

Education matters. Part of the difference is explained by the coursework students had when they entered college. 44% of college students who took 3 or more classes in high school considered the IT field as a major compared with 20% of those without any computer coursework.

As for the road ahead, nearly eight in ten students, 79%, think there is an increased need for IT professionals as computers and technologies develop. Other than a general interest in computers and technology, 38% of those who major in IT most commonly identify job opportunities as the primary reason for choosing the field. Others mention an interest in science, an interest in developing new things, or enjoying their computer classes in high school.

But, here’s the pothole.  Many students tell us they are drawn to other majors because they don’t see the link between technology and their fields of interest.  There’s a real disconnect that must be addressed in paving a cross-curriculum technology future. 

The stimulus represents an historic opportunity to be groundbreaking as we dig out of the economic quagmire. There is a bright future on the technological horizon that should not be lost.


Lee and Barbara at Marist College Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director, Marist College Institute for Public Opinion

Dr. Barbara L. Carvalho, Director, Marist Poll

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President Obama comes from a community where 49% of all students never graduate from high school (Chicago, IL). And even less make it to college. Obama was involved in the Chicago educational community for over a decade, while managing a $150 million grant for improving the educational system (can you say ACORN?)
The $787 Billion dollar “porkulous” bill signed by President Obama, without reading it, which had over 8,000 “earmarks”, which Obama vowed to “line out” before signing any bill (he also pledged a 5 day period for the public to scrutinize before he signed any bill) had the hundred plus millions of dollars for the AIG executives bonuses, not to mention another $200 millions in bonuses for AIG in 2010.
For education, we first need to learn about President Obama and his “double speak”. First he is a Marxist, Joe the plumber was no accident, Obama does intend to tax people, businesses and our society into oblivion. CAP and Trade, higher taxes for all and CARD CHECK will ruin this nation.
In Obama’s America, we will be waiting in lines for food and medical care, while also waiting for jobs. Forget about college in the future, unless you are politically connected.

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January 12, 2010
8:15 pm

[...] for professional science master’s education that is interdisciplinary in character.  Such an investment in curriculum change has been proposed as a good use of stimulus funding in the U.S. In concert, 8 of 10 students expressed a wish for universities to revamp their traditional learning [...]

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