Owing to desktop computers, laptop computers, smart phones, tablets, smart televisions, the Internet, digital publications and satellite television and radio, in addition to traditional media vehicles like newspapers, magazines, books and terrestrial radio and television, advanced economies are frequently being termed information economies.
Not too long ago, certain economies were termed industrial or post-agrarian. Prior to that, they were identified as agrarian economies. Further back still, there existed less formal economies, principally composed of hunter/gatherers. To be certain, an economy can carry one label yet still have a strong component more identified with an earlier time.
Time marches on and societies change. Success is predicated on being able to change with the times, while maintaining practices from bygone eras that continue to work well.
Being an information economy does not mean manufacturing and farming are no longer important, far from it. In my mind, the notion of an information economy merely means that there has been tremendous growth in the area of information – particularly in the myriad of ways in which information is commercialized – and that this increased commercialization of information is likely to continue and provide for substantial economic growth.
Consider that complex economies need not be constrained to a “this or that” composition. An economy can have a strong agricultural segment, a powerful manufacturing segment and a dynamic information segment. In fact, the different segments of an economy can work synergistically, rather than against one and other.
However, being that information and the information economy are growing as parts of society, the need for ongoing education has never been more important. A dynamic exchange of information, commercially or not, axiomatically leads to a population that is more knowledgeable. Knowledge being power, it stands to reason that more knowledgeable workers are, consequently, more competitive workers.
What does this mean to the individual? Well, if you want to stay competitive, you need to keep reading and studying. Perhaps, you could enroll in school and advance your studies, irrespective of the educational level you are at. You might consider studying a foreign language. Maybe your computer skills are not where you would like them to be and a course might help you. Or, if circumstance does not permit the aforementioned, you could focus on reading, expanding your horizons by enriching yourself with valuable, new information. Whatever the case, keep reading and studying! The pursuit of information and education is now, more than ever, a lifelong undertaking.
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*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at CYInterview.com. For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.
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