Blog // Connect South Carolina

Education Technology’s Impact on South Carolina’s Economy and Workforce Development

By Wil Payton

In the knowledge workforce of the new economy, technology access and expertise are key factors in the success of individuals, communities, and businesses.

South Carolina policymakers are acutely aware of the correlation between education technology and economic development. Jim Rex, State Superintendent of Education stated in the South Carolina State Technology Plan 2009 – 2013 that “the future vitality of our state’s economy depends upon the ability of South Carolinians to use computers and digital information systems, and to adopt and adapt to an information age. Key to stimulating this economic development is a K-12 education system that has a focus on digital information systems and 21st century skills.”

In Broadband – A Technology Tool for Lifelong Learning, a recently released study by Connect South Carolina, it was reported that adults who do not have a college education (with a high school diploma or less) face many challenges – they tend to have lower annual incomes, higher unemployment rates, and greater difficulty re-entering the workforce after being laid off. This vulnerable population is of particular interest in South Carolina, where the U.S. Census estimates that nearly one-half of adults (48%) have no college education. Because South Carolina has such a large population with no college education, it is important to make sure that these residents have opportunities to further their education, stay informed about local news, and find gainful employment.

A couple of key findings from this report include:

  • More than one in three adult Internet users (39%) who do not have a college education take online classes or conduct research for schoolwork via the Internet.
  • One-half (50%) of South Carolina Internet users who have a high school diploma or less go online to search or apply for jobs, which is more often than Internet subscribers who have a college education.

Connect South Carolina is dedicated to ensuring that every household in South Carolina has the opportunity to get connected to broadband and will continue to provide news and information about broadband access, adoption, and use across the state. Be sure to follow Connect South Carolina on Facebook and Twitter for more articles on how technology impacts your life!

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