Technology entrepreneur Ingrid Riley voiced that the rapid pace at which digital technology has been changing, students who are now in high school could find that much of what they are learning about information technology might not be relevant when they graduate.
“This may sound controversial, but it actually is true,” the regional techie told more than 180 young entrepreneurs participating in a business expo hosted by Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), the Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) and Digicel Foundation at the University of the West Indies last week.
“But, it’s actually a good thing, because it means that we live in a dynamic age in which things are changing all the time, and that is what makes it interesting,” she said.
Riley, a leading social media strategist who operates her own agency, CONNECTiD, and a non-profit tech entrepreneurship organisation, ConnectiMass, which supports start-ups across the Caribbean, made the point as she addressed the students from rural non-traditional high schools about how they could become US-dollar millionaires.
“You are who we refer to as being ‘Generation-Digital’. You take for granted that there is always going to be cable television, there is always going to be the Internet, cell phones and YouTube, Google, social media. And, therefore, you are actually in a very awesome position to move from being a consumer to become a creator,” she noted.
The IT entrepreneur affirmed that today, students are well positioned to create their own jobs and, therefore, they should begin to think carefully about the businesses they will start up.
“Right now is actually a good time to start,” she told students.
“You are living free and in your parents’ house right now. Take advantage of it. Make it work for you. Right now, you have no other job but to go to school, get good grades, do some chores and clean your room,” she declared, noting that teens have a special advantage because they are the main targets of producers and that creates opportunities for them.
“You are at the age where you can start, fail and keep doing that over and over again, until you win and win big,” she said, pointing out that digital technology has also made it easy and cheap to start businesses.