Current Trends Undergraduate Assignment 2015

College of Business and Hospitality Management

Assignment Current Trends and Issues Conference

                                                                                          March 9, 2015

Course Composition:  The requirements for completing the one (1) credit  Current Trends and Issues Conference course is accomplished in two parts (a) by participation in a one-day professional/academic conference on current trends and issues in the respective disciplines of study and (b)by  the completion of a written assignment as shown below. Attendance at the conference accounts for 50% of the grade and this assignment accounts for the remaining 50%.  You are expected to complete both aspects of the course through which you would have gained a more expansive appreciation for the relationship between the world of academia and the world of work.

For Undergraduate Seniors

INSTRUCTIONS: Using the Current Trends and Issues Conference presentations as a basis for further investigation, answer question ONE or TWO.  Question THREE is compulsory.

Question 1.

  1. Select three themes that emerged and in one to one and one-half page, write a summary of each theme.
  2. Identify three peer-reviewed journal articles which address each of these themes. Present a half-page summary of each article and then discuss how it relates to the themes presented in part (a) of this question.

Question 2. From among the following influences, select two and write a three page paper on each of them to show their impact on the progress of the business or hospitality sector.  As a student of Business and/or Hospitality Management, discuss three strategies that you could implement to positively support business or hospitality management’s advancement in these area.

Influences:

  • The pros and cons of Implementing Solar energy sector in Jamaica
  • Jamaica and the IMF: Opportunities and Challenges to the Jamaican productive sector
  • Jamaica’s Need for a Debt Management Policy: A Business/Hospitality Management Graduate’s Perspective.

  • Question 3. Write a critique of your experience in the undergraduate programme at Northern Caribbean University. What are three strategies/recommendations that you would make to improve/change aspects of the programme?

Submit assignment by April 16, 2015 to your respective campus.

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Less Human Jobs in the Future

“In order to survive as universities in Jamaica, a revision of the curriculum must occur to ensure that students are as marketable as possible,” admonished Professor Anthony Clayton, Alcan Professor of Caribbean Sustainable Development with the Institute for Sustainable Development at the University of the West Indies, at the 7th Annual Current Trends and Issues Business and Hospitality  Management Virtual Conference, hosted at Northern Caribbean University on Monday March 9, 2015, during its annual Research Week activities (running March 9-12).

In a manner that would mimic how the prophet Daniel would have interpreted the “writing on the wall,” for King Belshazzar, Professor Clayton was most forthright regarding the future of many conventional jobs today:  “47% of the jobs that are now conducted manually will be done by machines in the future,” he declared. He further added, “jobs which have secretaries, receptionist, accountants, war pilots etc. will become fully automated. I therefore encourage students to become more flexible academically. You cannot have just one discipline anymore.”

Dr Clayton at CBHM Conference

Professor Anthony Clayton, Alcan Professor of Caribbean Sustainable Development with the Institute for Sustainable Development at the University of the West Indies shares with the audience at the NCU’s Current Trends and Issues Conference about life changing events in the near future 

He continued, “While you have one main area that you focus on, try to have working knowledge in other areas.” In responding to a high school student whose interpretation of the professor’s comments was that instead of doing law, as she intended, she should probably pursue a career in Information Technology, he advised: “if you major in law, try to have law with Information Technology to make yourself more marketable. A wider knowledge base in different areas increases the chances of getting the desired job.”

Professor Clayton did however seek to calm the fears and raised anxieties of the packed auditorium as he assured that although changes will become more pronounced come 2020, full change will be at best gradual – due primarily to the fact that people naturally resist change.

In noting the trends in higher education however, he was less consoling to tertiary institutions that must compete with the Internet in providing information.  With the Internet winning that competition in the effective and affordable dissemination of information, he suggested that tertiary institutions must change the focus of what they teach:  “People must be taught to think critically and to be innovative problem solvers.  We have paid too much lip service to critical thinking skills in this country.”  He further hinted that competence in logistics is a career of the future.

The Alcan Professor of Caribbean Sustainable Development further stated that increasingly the traditional face to face style of teaching in universities is rapidly becoming obsolete: “Stop thinking geographically; think embryonically.”

In commending Professor Clayton on an insightful and relevant presentation NCU President, Dr Trevor Gardner wanted to know how this new paradigm for universities will affect the delivery of a predominantly values-based education.  In underscoring the continued relevance of critical values such as integrity, the presenter articulated that not only would it be possible, but it would be a necessity.

The Current Trends and Issues Conference, is a web-conference, held annually by the College of Business and Hospitality Management for the primary benefit of Business seniors and MBA students.  This years’ conference was attended by the University Administration, high schools students, and members of the public.