ON THE AIRWAVES — By Lakshmi Kothaneth — In the past, family members and mentors were the main guides who inspired and shaped our future. Now it is something one has to indulge in no matter whether we have the guides or not.
Oman just saw Ghedex, Trainex and Jobex, and will now soon see Comex. I thought that was interesting because both reflect what we are talking about. The job market has become so competitive these days that it is impossible to take our time to decide on what we want to do with our life in career. Gone are the days I think we could take our leisure time to choose our field of study while taking the basic courses in first year of college. If it is a professional course that you are going to opt for eventually, then you need to spend more years to specialise.
And all the more pressure if you are a female student because the society always wants you to see settled soon. At least that is how it has been until recent years. The funny thing is that male students also used to have the pressure but in another way. The male students are more often asked to specialise in traditional courses that guaranteed them a job and a secured income so that they can be responsible for their future. I feel female students always had the freedom to choose from an array of majors that have been developing each year.
Let us take the example of art courses. Male students would be asked to shun away from creative major such as fashion design just because there is no guarantee there would be job security in the future, where as a female student would be appreciated for her creativity. That was the case when I was doing higher education. Today I think it is a wonderful world filled with opportunities for everyone. In fact, this is the time when people are even successful in having two careers.
One of the reasons for this is that we are in the information age that has made the world truly a global village. I remember when we began using the terminology — global village. The world was beginning to shrink with the onset of Internet and travelling made so easy. The World Wide Web also meant worldwide opportunities. Here we were on the threshold of global success. Business people suddenly had an overview of the global markets, travellers were on the go, and writers had a wider readership, actors developed international audience. Higher education enthusiasts had new tool — online education. Dotcom was the in thing and the exciting outcome was the new concept in business — e-commerce. The net became a friend and a nuisance. Information was on your fingertip, yet troublemakers could be reaching you the same way. We are now being trained to protect our information from hackers and to safeguard our children from the reach of troublemakers that might be easy to meet up in social media. Friends are in hundreds hardly possible or practical but that is the number of registered friends on most of the people’s social media account. The term, ‘chat’, developed a new dimension.
“Send me a request on FB and I will accept,” is a common line of friendship. Long lost friends are found on the social media scene bringing in a new meaning to life. I have a friend in Muscat who has got the best tools the world can offer at his garage for his welding hobby. Whenever I feared about the dangers of using credit card on line he made me think twice when he showed us the pictures of new arrivals that was just shipped across.
Do you remember our first cyber café in Muscat? It was a cool looking one in Qurum. Everyone moved in with a new confidence. Our research techniques have changed and school students are better equipped for their assignments.
Oman has put in place the infrastructure and security measures. E-Oman is not just a campaign but a reality that is expanding in every direction. Whether it is education or technology, one has to just learn and move fast to keep up with the pace. No one wants to be left behind, do we?