Changes in society over the past century—diverse social movements, shift from industrial-based into knowledge-based workforce, the introduction of telecommunications, modern science and technology breakthroughs applied in both positive and negative situations, among others things—have in some way, or another influenced the ways through which universities and colleges meet the needs of higher learning (Clayton-Pedersen & O'Neill, 2005; Johnson, n.d.). Higher education in the 21st century engage a much larger, more varied population of learners, numerous new fields of inquiry, and provide opportunities in several new multimedia settings and formats, like online, virtual, computer-based training, and blended instruction, to name a few. It is yet unknown to the level digital technology will transform the way we learn (Clayton-Pedersen & O'Neill, 2005; Hooker, 1997). To efficiently meet societal and individual demands of the 21st century, colleges and universities recognized during the fall of 20th century their missions as well as practices required reinvigoration and mandated “curriculum revisions” (Clayton-Pedersen & O'Neill; Johnson, n.d.). The core societal change that has impacted higher education is a structural change, which is a convergence of two main forces: the information and management revolution. The information revolution is driving the change from an energy-based economy to a knowledge-based one. And the management revolution in itself was being compelled in part by the changes in information usage potential (Hooker, 1997).
Education is how to make sure we’ve got a workforce that’s productive and competitive. —President George W. Bush
Workforce computer and internet use are becoming more omnipresent, and the duties performed by use of computers will radically increase. The impact of technology will move past new equipment and quicker communication, as skills and educated workforce, are redefined and reorganized. McKiernan (2012) states that “Without college-level learning, American workers simply won’t have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in today’s global economy.” (para.1). The country’s lasting economic recovery will depend on getting a larger number of high-class degrees in the hands of a bigger, more varied graduate pool. College and university administrations that not only emphasize on conventional fiduciary accountabilities struggle, but also for key curriculum improvements in higher learning will set the trend towards a movement the country cannot manage to push back (McKiernan, 2012).
Higher global competition will continue affecting the kind of work being performed within American workplaces, generating new high-skilled jobs and reducing the demand for low-skilled jobs. The influence of globalization will continue growing as a greater part of the economy is interested in producing exports and/or competing with imports (McKiernan, 2012). In the 21st century workplace and workforce, there is nothing like...