Hearing Voices: A focus on the future is essential

Hearing Voices: A focus on the future is essential

I found it.

‘It’ could be one of many things I’ve somehow lost along the way — hair springs to mind, and my short-term memory isn’t what it used to be, either (hence I tend to lose things). This time, however, I’m referring to a smart yet reassuringly functional copy of the prospectus from the Open Polytechnic.

You may recall last time my nostalgic brush with the student’s lot. Well, I couldn’t resist flicking through its 84 pages to see if anything took my fancy. There was ‘Horticulture, Agriculture and Natural Resources’ … nah. ‘Education and Community Services’ … nah. ‘Psychology, Health and Well-being’ … er, nah. ‘Real Estate and Sales’. No, I’m not making this up; there really are courses on this.

“If you’re looking to make your mark in the real estate business, this programme is a must,” the course guide explains. And there was me thinking you just had to have an imaginative turn of phrase and a big flag. Either way, not quite what I was thinking of.

‘Computing and Information Services’ … ah, finally.

I found the relevant page, complete with a large picture of a computer (on a ridiculously tidy looking desk). This could definitely be it.

“If you’re interested in making computers the tools of your trade, The Open Polytechnic can help you excel in information technology,” it stated proudly.

Cool. Tell me more.

The Bachelor of Applied Science was first on the list. “As a graduate of this degree you will be highly information literate and adept at problem-solving — attributes that are essential in today’s information-rich world,” said the blurb.

This is clearly its blue ribbon, your-mother-would-be-proud ICT course. The Poly obviously thinks so: “If you want to be at the leading edge of future technology, this is the degree that could put you there.”

Wow. I can think of a few people who should be taking this.

It even has ‘Information and Library Studies’ attached for good measure. In fact, there was plenty more where that came from, from a Certificate in Cataloguing; to a Diploma in Records and Information; as well as, of course, a diploma in the aforementioned Library Studies. Interesting enough … but no, I just can’t bring myself to talk it up. That sounds about as boring as wading through the eight-point notes and appendices on Telecom’s annual report — or anyone’s for that matter. Sure, we might end up with the most orderly data in the world, but it will hardly have the rest of the e-world casting hopeful glances towards New Zealand for the next big thing in ICT. Then again, I guess coming up with a new way of accessing information never did Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the Google co-founders, any harm.

Thankfully, there was a course that really caught my eye. Tucked away at the bottom of the last page was a Diploma in Knowledge and Emerging Technologies.

“Graduates will have a sound knowledge and skills relating to technological issues supporting the development of future trends in these areas,” said the adjoining description. “A focus on the future is essential in the fast-evolving world of information technology.”

Now that’s more like it.

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