EMERGING CHALLENGES FACING OFFICE TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT OF STUDENTS IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ERA
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This study focuses on the Emerging Challenges Faced Secretaries in Information Technology era, the case study of Office Technology and Management students in federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri. The target population used for the study was 35 students from different levels in Office Technology and Management department. The sample study was the same in order to avoid sampling bias. The instrument used in this study was questionnaires and the study was divided into four research questions. The mean scores were the method of analysis the study showed that Office Technology and Management students should strive hard to fit into the current age of IT to keep pace with the advancement in information technology. Since it is to create new jobs and alters the existing one, conclusion was based on the result of the findings that IT innovation era poses a lot of challenges to prospective and practicing Office Technology and Management students, they should develop themselves to suit the IT offices. Recommendations were made that should introduce the usage of IT equipment in Office Technology and Management curriculum in order to boost the knowledge of this machines on the students and also provide good lecturers that will lecture these courses.
- BACKGROUND STUDY
The world is changing rapidly as a result of new development in Information and communication technology (ICT) that is why there is a remarkable change or departure from traditional office machines like manual typewriter, gramophones and other stenotype office machines to electronic information communication system like computers, telephones, GSM handset, scanners, modern, operating system software etc.
Due to this new development our Nigerian institutions have to change the course name secretarial administration to a rebranded name called Office Technology and Management, the former curriculum of the secretarial administration was also changed to a curriculum that has to deal with the new Information technology. This was done to enable the students have knowledge of these new technologies in this information technology era, since the world is changing to a global village.
Laudon, (2002) explained that information technology is one of many tools mangers use to cope with changes, adding that computer which is at the core is the physical equipment used for inputting data and processing output. Similarly (Haag, 2002) asserted that information technology is any computer based tool that facilitates the search, retrieval and dissemination of information to information seekers and as well as support the information and information processing needs of individuals, groups and organization. He further explained that information technology includes keyboards, mouse, screens, printers, telephone, cellophane, television, radio, scanners, modems, word processor, and operating system software.
Ehikhamenor (1993) defines information technology as the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of information by means of computer, office machine and telecommunications. Computers provide the processing, storage and retrieval facilities while telecommunications provides the facilities for the transfer or communication of data and information to users.
The emergence and use of information technology has improved efficiency in the performance of routine tasks in office like electronic payments, producing documents in large quantities, information exchange, the flow of work is speeded up and essential materials are now processed online. However, in Nigeria the availability and utilization of information technology is at its lowest ebb and that is why office technology and management students are facing big challenges in this era, so the school managements should not only be concerned in teaching the courses in the curriculum but should concentrate also in the information of a framework of policy for the development of the office technology and management workshops with modern and up to date information technologies.
This is why Womboh (2008) likened the state of information and communication technology in most of our Nigerian institution’s libraries to a mediocre, he insisted that any institution offering office technology and management (OTM) as a course, should have a functional ICT connectivity in its workshop while Ajayi (2005) maintained that the traditional “brick and mortar” workshops must give way to digitalized workshops so that the students will be versatile and able to access these equipments.
Information and communication technology (ICT) is a terminology which has overtaken information technology (IT) because of its appropriateness and relevance. Information technology focuses on the computer while information and communication technology (ICT) emphasizes on the use of technology for development, thus focusing in the use of computers and other technologies such as telephone etc to process transport, transfer voice/video and other data singularly or mixed with least interference. Information technology (IT) advancement therefore involves a change in the methodology of secretarial duties from manual or semi-mechanical means to purely mechanize and digitalized processes.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The rapid and tremendous development of information technology has posed a lot of challenges today to our office technology and management students in federal polytechnic Nekede Owerri, the students are exposed only to the use of analogue typing and shorthand skill, therefore inability to keep up with the rapid pace of technology has created fear on these students.
The unavailability of most of the information technologies in the office technology and management (OTM) workshops is another challenge the students are facing in this information technology era. Consequently, students who studied this course; information technology and management might loose lucrative jobs found within the confines of information and communication technology (ICT) due to lack of exposure to these technologies.
However, this investigation would proffer solutions to the exposure office technology and management (OTM) students in federal polytechnic Nekede owerri need in order to overcome these challenges they are facing in this information technology era.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study was to determine the problem or challenges office technology and management students in federal polytechnic Nekede owerri are facing in the information technology era. Specifically, the purpose of the study is as follows:
- To analyze the challenges posed by the advancement in information technology on Office Technology and Management students in federal polytechnic Nekede Owerri.
- To determine the Impact such emerging challenges would have on the productivity of the students.
- To identify what special training that is needed by the students to meet these emerging challenges.
- To examine the importance of information technology equipments as an aid to producing an efficient information technology student.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To guide the study, the following questions were posed.
- What are the emerging challenges Office Technology and Management students in federal Polytechnic Nekede are posed within this information technology era?
- What impact does information technology equipment have on Office Technology and Management students
- Are special training needed by the students to meet these challenges?
- Are information technology equipment important as an aid to producing an efficient information technology student?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is hoped that this research will serve in propelling an office technology and management student to strive hard as to fit into this era of information communication and technology (ICT) hence identifying the loopholes a student needs to erase. This research will also serve as communication to the school management on the direction of teaching and exposure needed by these students so as to measure up with modern trend of information technology and the challenges the students are facing in the information technology era.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research is conferred on office technology and management (OTM) students in federal polytechnic Nekede Owerri. It therefore tries to proffer solutions to the emerging challenges facing the students in this information communication and technology era.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This research is limited to office technology and management (OTM) students in federal polytechnic Nekede Owerri. It will therefore be limited to proffering solutions to the emerging challenges facing the students in this information communication and technology era.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Emerging: becoming prominent or apparent
Challenges: a call to prove or justify something
Information technology: Information technology is the use of computers to create, process, store, retrieve, and exchange all kinds of electronic data and information. IT is typically used within the context of business operations as opposed to personal or entertainment technologies.
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