The world has been fundamentally and profoundly impacted by the ongoing waves of technological advancement and rapid digitalisation that have been in motion for decades now. As time has gone on, these waves have become bigger, better, stronger, faster, and more efficient and reliable. Now, technology is disrupting one of the world’s pillar industries on a universal scale. Education is experiencing a full-blown, global evolution, and technology is at the forefront of this revolution.  It is not necessarily a surprise, given that technological innovation has been at an all-time high in recent years, but it is no less interesting to note just how fundamentally important the technological evolutions have been to the creation of an industry that exists as education does now.

The modernisation of a traditional industry

It is no secret that education is a traditional industry. In fact, historically, education is about as traditional an industry as you can get. These days, however, the world of academics has had to play catch-up, moving up and moving on to encompass more modern iterations. These include widespread technological absolution and digital advancement. From the admissions processes for college success programs, and the submissions methods for assessments, to the classes and even entire degrees themselves, every facet of education is now offered online as well as through traditional means (i.e. the typical classroom on campus). It is the beginning of an incredibly exciting time for education, and we are only just seeing the beginning.

Why online education is so important

Online education is the most beneficial innovation that has happened to the global academic sector in recent history. The reason why is quite simple. While traditional education is not necessarily broken, it is decidedly and undeniably exclusive in that it is offered in a traditional classroom, in a location-sensitive campus, to individuals who can afford the luxury of affording education and living close to campus to make it to the compulsory classes on offer. Online education makes it possible for anyone who has an interest in education to pursue it without geographical limitations, and on their own terms. Finally, online education introduces a new frontier in education that heralds the beginning of a truly globally inclusive approach to education.

An ongoing evolution for academics around the globe

Technological advancement in education is an ongoing process of growth and further development. As is the nature of technology, it is always improving and moving up to its next iteration. There is something both intricate and profound about technology in education, as this is one of the most important industries (if not the most important industry) there is anywhere in the world. We have seen a strong beginning for technological innovation in education, and that beginning is likely only to continue to bloom and flourish as time goes on. We are moving deeper and further into the digital age, and we are ongoing going to see more impressive advancements in technological innovation the deeper and further we go. This is just the beginning of a very exciting journey.

Students and faculty at Penn State can take advantage of a lot of different discounts for the duration of their time at the university.  From retail discounts to gym memberships, technology and more, there are a whole host of discount cards and coupons just waiting to be used.  However, one thing that many don’t consider saving money on is the cost of their insurance.  Below are some of the main insurance providers offering discounts to PSU students and faculty in 2019.

Liberty Mutual Car and Home Insurance

Liberty Mutual is one of the leading insurance providers in the United States.  They have teamed up with Penn State to provide students and alumni with an additional 10% discount on the cost of their car and home insurance.  While most university students will spend their time at university in rented accommodation, the car insurance deal is well worth it to many.  

Insuranks Student Health Insurance

Having a health insurance policy in place is vital, and although you may be young, fit and healthy, it’s something that no student should neglect.  A good health insurance policy won’t just cover you in case of an emergency or serious illness, it will also be there when you need it for preventative care. Insuranks provides a health insurance search engine that enables PSU students to find the best health insurance deals and browse based on the rating of the provider.  Students can see which providers offer the best rates for their needs, and see which providers will be there for them when they need them.

Many student health insurance plans also come with a UnitedHealth Allies discount card.  This can save students as much as 35% on dental care, 20% on eye care and 50% on weight and fitness management.

Nationwide Auto Insurance

Nationwide may have started off as a small car insurance company, but they are now one of the largest insurance providers in the United States, and indeed worldwide.  Nationwide provide auto insurance discounts to the faculty of PSU; however, it only applies when using Jill O’Brien as the insurance agent.  Having served generations of people, they are a company that can be trusted.

Travelers Insurance

Whether you are traveling home to another state during spring or summer break, or heading further afield, it’s never wise to travel without an insurance policy in place.  Although you’ll hopefully never need it, a travel insurance policy can help with the cost of medical bills, delayed or missed flights, lost luggage and more.  Travelers Insurance have special rates for students, alumni and retirees. 

For further deals, students can also sign up for the Penn State Discounts program where they can save on purchases and services for the duration of their time at the university.


As our world become increasing technologically complex we see a lot more overlap between different schools of education that were once very much siloed. We find this is especially true about areas involving information technology were new techniques can have applications across many fields and open up opportunities for those whose knowledge combines seemingly unrelated areas of study. There are very few areas of science that are not going to see plenty of change as advanced information technology is applied to solve problems.

This is very much true of Medicine. We saw the first wave of this in areas like medical imaging in the late 20th century. We are now seeing a new technological wave being driven by a combination of technological advances and governments looking to contain the growth of healthcare costs by applying technology. Where as before a degree in radiography would give you a non biology related entrance to the medical field, people are now using degrees like Masters in Machine Learning as a way of entering the healthcare industry.

It has become increasingly clear that many of the future advances in medicine will be by applying advances in artificial intelligence, genetics and big data to create mass personalisation of treatment. The idea being that your treatment would be custom tailored to your unique genetic makeup based on how people with a similar genetic profiles have reacted in the past to treatment. This opens up lucrative career opportunities for people to study combined degree in genetics and information technology.

Another area that is seeing increased investment is in the area of medical robotics, this is a very broad field in which robots are being developed for automating mundane tasks such as delivering medicine or patient monitoring to much more complex tasks like those currently delivered by highly trained doctors. We already see that advances in telemedicine allow for surgeon to use surgical robots as extension of themselves so they can do operations on patients that are hundreds of miles away. It is only a matter of time before we start seeing these surgical robots being controlled completely by an artificial intelligence and doing routine operations on their own.

One area that is rapidly developing is the digitization of medical records. This not only makes it much easier for medical professionals to get detailed information about a patient's medical history, but also opens up an incredible opportunity for the application of artificial intelligence to be used for diagnostics. Previously assumed unrelated symptoms can now be seen in greater context and can lead to identifying the real cause of the patient's illness as well as pointing to the most promising course of treatment.

This opens up lots of opportunities for people with training in previously thought unrelated fields like library science, robotics or statistical analysis to parley those skills into fulfilling careers in the healthcare sector. Especially when that knowledge is combined with complimentary study in the life sciences.

In the 1980s, solar powered calculators- usually manufactured by Japanese companies- were a novelty. After all, who had ever heard of a device that did not require a battery or an external connection to a source of electricity? How many such devices do you see around you even today?

All that is about to change- we will soon live to see a world without high tension wires or gas stations. The dominance of fossil fuels will continue at least for another decade to come, but there is no halting the rise of renewable energies.

Thanks to the rapid progress achieved in the field of energy research over the last two decades, combined with governmental policies and rising awareness, renewable energies are becoming astonishing affordable. In India, for instance, solar energy is now cheaper than power generated from fossil fuels, with prices currently below 4 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh).

Admittedly, the outlook does not appear too bright for the immediate future as far the United States is concerned. All the same, the Trump Administration’s decision to pull America out of the Paris Climate Accord or the massive budgetary cuts on energy innovation that were recently imposed will only slow down development in the field of energy research, not stop it altogether.

If you intend to pursue energy research as your major, rest assured that it is an excellent career option. With some smart planning, you can lay the seeds for a bright future. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind.

  • Find a good university: First and foremost, check out which are the best institutions. The university that you go to makes a huge impact, not only at the beginning of your career, but well beyond it. The course design and quality of pedagogy are no doubt crucial, but factors like the reputation of the institution, the quality of your peers and the alumni network can help you network and open up opportunities long after you graduate.

  • Writing Skills: The admission process will almost certainly involve writing letters of motivation to universities. Once in college, you will need to write assignments, the odd short essay and even research papers. The need to present your ideas in writing will continue long after you leave university. It pays to develop your writing skills.

  • Extra-academic activities: While selecting your university, you also want to check out the extra academic activities on offer in campus. The best institutes produce people who are not only good in their area of specialisation, but are also well rounded personalities. Besides, these activities help you develop your social network. That’s where several lifelong friendships are formed.

Plan your finances: This is a mantra that ought to be given to every student before he or she embarks on higher education. This may seem boring and even pointless for a person looking to make a career in energy research. Nevertheless, managing the personal finances is an important life skill. With student loan defaults on the rise, make sure you have your plans in place to avoid falling into the vicious spiral of indebtedness.

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