THE ENVIRONMENT: GENERAL BUSINESS TRENDS

Experts predict significant changes in the work force by the year 2000. Already there is evidence that these predictions are correct and that such changes may occur well before the year 2000.

Experts expect to see many international alliances. Already the political changes that will make this possible are occurring: the opening of Eastern European and the former USSR. The 1992 changes in Europe encourage alliances among European companies, and many predict even more open trading among nations in the Americas as well. The rate at which countries, previously closed to U.S. companies, are embracing free trade is staggering. In the wake of this rapid political change, international alliances offer solutions that one company cannot undertake alone. For example, companies in Japan and Germany are discussing alliances as a means to improve the communications systems for what was formerly known as East Germany.

As the world moves from the industrial age to the information age, information—and the tools for quickly analyzing and distributing that information—will be readily available at the workstation or desktop. Workers, with a large amount of information readily available, will broaden the scope of their work and acquire more skills; they will be multiskilled workers. The computer science and technology professions will provide the products and services to make this possible, and there will be a tremendous demand for those who can integrate powerful tools into the workplace.

The marketplace for the 1990s is a global, not a national, marketplace. Many of today's products have parts or components that are manufactured in one country, assembled or integrated in another country, and perhaps sold worldwide under a variety of logos or brand names. In the future, more and more products will be developed in this manner.

The work force must be highly educated; the work force must be competent in mathematics and communications (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) and must be motivated and capable of continuous learning. In addition, the work force needs to be computer literate. Although computers will continue to be easier to use, they will also be integrated into more and more products and services. And as computer technology improves, we will need more computer professionals to research, develop, and apply the technology to a wider and wider range of uses.

As the demand for products and services becomes a worldwide



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