People now have more access to media technologies and instant information than ever before, and this is changing what it means to live in contemporary society.

Across the United States, universities are responding to such changes, by developing new programs to help students prepare for living and working in our digital society.

The University of Arizona is one such institution. In the fall, UA will offer a new eSociety degree program to teach students about living in the age of digital technology.

Catherine Brooks, a professor of Information Resources and Library Science at the University of Arizona, says the program will cover topics such as, “digital information, on-line communication, relationship building, and basically all human practices that have moved to incorporating the digital turn”.

Rather than house this program in a single department, where students will get one particular perspective, this program will work across colleges. Students may take classes in Internet law from the School of Journalism and the theory of communication from the College of Communication and Information Sciences along with courses in computer programming and artificial intelligence.

Brooks says one of the skills students will gain is managing large sets of data, to including learning how to organize, preserve and sort information while also protecting privacy. This is a skill set that employers say they increasingly need.