Miami Herald: Taking Care of Business in a Diverse and Digital MarketplaceJanuary 25, 2012
It’s time to recognize the talent pool we have right here in America, putting an end to minority statistics that may soon be more fairytale than truth. Especially in the state of Florida where the Hispanic population is outperforming other states in college degree attainment levels.
Florida’s business schools, particularly Miami-Dade College, are being recognized for their cutting-edge programs and for graduating some of the highest number of Hispanics. Not only are these Hispanics brushing up on their business skills, but, according to recent studies by Florida State University’s Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication, they are proving to be digital innovators and significantly expanding their online presence. Compared to other groups, Hispanics were the most likely to own and manage their own online businesses, blogs and websites.
Why are these statistics important?
Broadband-enabled technologies have changed how businesses operate and thrive. It’s the innovators and skilled users of these technologies that bring opportunity for innovation and job creation across a range of industries. Though some statistics show that Hispanics are behind in education and technology adoption, many others are proving that they are in fact poised to become prominent figures in America’s digital business future, including the wireless industry.
While minorities are undoubtedly making big gains in broadband adoption, there are still many without online connections. According to a study by The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, there are many barriers at play, including financial, educational, and linguistic hurdles. Though, when the socioeconomic factors are similar, studies show that Hispanics and non- Hispanic whites end up having similar usage patterns for broadband-enabled technologies.
Why does this matter?
Minorities, though improved, still lag behind. According to the Pew Research Center, in terms of broadband use at home, there is a substantial gap between Hispanics (45%) and non-Hispanic whites (65%). And the rate among blacks (52%) is higher than that of Hispanics. These statistics have been linked to educational attainment levels. On average, Hispanics have lower levels of education and earn less than non-Hispanic whites. And, as the world becomes more digitized, access to technology is imperative when striving for a future that includes higher education, jobs and greater earning potential.
This is why we must bring broadband access and technology to low-income minority communities and schools – to ensure socioeconomic equality for the country’s future. According to a recent study by Deloitte, private investment in 4G mobile broadband networks has the potential to reach as much as $53 billion between 2012-2016, thus improving the United States’ global competitiveness, economic outlook, and ability to create upwards of 771,000 new jobs – jobs that Hispanics and other minorities can fill if the necessary steps to prepare these individuals are taken now.
The latest U.S. Census Bureau report found that the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent in the last decade and is the largest, youngest, fastest-growing minority group in America. In Florida alone, the Hispanic population accounts for nearly 23 percent of the total population – a number that is indicative of what’s to come for other states as Hispanic numbers continue to increase nationwide.
Because of this growing diversity, America’s younger generations are culturally insightful and well-rounded. They are multiracial, some are multilingual, and, unlike previous generations, they are more likely to embrace diversity in Corporate America, subsequently improving companies’ abilities to meet the demands of an increasingly diverse consumer market. To them, color or namesake means nothing. It is having access to and possession of the world’s latest technologies that levels the playing field.
This is why we must continue to push to bring better education and technology to low-income schools and minority communities who currently do not have access; so that we can empower America’s youth and harness all of the potential that America has right here at home.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/08/2577327/taking-care-of-business-in-diverse.html#storylink=cpyThis entry was posted in Broadband, Digital Divide, Education, Hispanic, Innovation and tagged broadband, digital divide, education, Florida, Hispanic, Hispanic market, Jose Mas. Bookmark the permalink. ← HuffPost: Survey Affirms AT&T as Industry Leader on the Issue of Diversity Comcast Closes in on the Digital Divide →