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2006-7-14 22:47 印建坤 

  As colleges and universities send another wave of graduates out into the world this spring, thousands of other job seekers with liberal-arts degrees like Martin's find themselves in a similar bind. True enough, this is an era of record-breaking lows in unemployment. But technology companies, which are contributing the lion's share of new jobs, are simultaneously declaring a shortage of qualified workers. The emphasis is on the word qualified.

  It's no surprise that high-tech companies rarely hire liberal-arts graduates. "Our p.r. people, our marketers, even our attorneys have technical talent," says Tracy Koon, director of corporate affairs at Intel. The need for technical expertise is so pervasive that even retailers are demanding such skills. "Company-wide, we're looking for students with specific information-systems skills," says David McDearmon, director of field human resources at Dollar Tree Stores. "Typically we shy away from independent-college students who don't have them."

  Fortunately for Martin, some invaluable help was at hand when he needed it. The Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, a network of 15 liberal-arts colleges in the state, has teamed up with local companies to bridge the learning gap faced by its members' graduates. VFIC invited 30 companies, including First Union and Electronic Data Systems, to link the needs of businesses with the skills being taught in college classrooms. With grants from corporate sponsors like AT&T, VFIC asked 20 information-technology managers to help its members create an exam, based on the work students will be expected to do in the real world, to test and certify their technological proficiency.

  The result, Tek.Xam, is an eight-part test that requires students to design a website, build and analyze spreadsheets, research problems on the Internet and demonstrate understanding of legal and ethical issues. Says Linda Dalch, president of VFIC: "If an art-history major wants a job at a bank, he needs to prove he has the skills. That's where this credential can help." This year 245 students at VFIC's member colleges have gone through the program. The long-term hope is that Tek.Xam will win the same kind of acceptance as the LSAT or CPA for law or accounting students. "To know a student has taken the initiative and passed could mean that less training is needed," explains John Rudin, chief information officer at Reynolds Metals, one of the corporations that helped create the test.

  All this begs an important question: Has the traditional liberal-arts curriculum become obsolete? College presidents naturally argue that the skills their schools provide are invaluable. A B.A. degree, says Mary Brown Bullock of Atlanta's Agnes Scott College, "gives graduates the ability to reinvent themselves time and time again……and the knowledge and thinking skills that transcend a particular discipline or time frame."

  Martin is finding that to be the truth. "It would be nice to have computer classes on my transcript," he says, but Tek.Xam has armed him with the power to learn those skills on his own——and a credential to show he has done so. He's now waiting to hear when his job as a network-support assistant for a large Boston firm will start.

  注(1):文选自Time;05/17/99, p92H;

  注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象为2002年真题text 3;

  1.The main problem many liberal-arts students face in job seeking is ____________.

  [A] too much competition in job market

  [B] their lack of technical expertise

  [C] company's discrimination against liberal-arts students

  [D] the recording-breaking unemployment rate

  2.It can be inferred from the text that _____________.

  [A] in the modern era, technical talent means everything in securing a job

  [B] independent colleges are not giving their students proper educationt

  [C] retailers are following the fashion only to promote sales

  [D] there is a big demand for students with technical skills

  3.Tek-Xam is designed to _____________.

  [A] offer VFIC members' graduates more job opportunities

  [B] compete with LSAT and CPA

  [C] help students cope with real world problems

  [D] test students' technical skills

  4.We can draw a conclusion from the text that ____________.

  [A] liberal arts education still proves valuable to students

  [B] Tek-Xam is gaining wide acceptance among employers and students alike

  [C] Technology companies are eager to promote Tek-Xam

  [D] computer classes will be excluded from the curriculum of liberal-arts students

  5.From the text we can see that the writer seems____________.

  [A] positive

  [B] suspicious

  [C] pessimistic

  [D] disapproving

  答案:B D D A A



  立的“技术考试”。文章第一段介绍了用人单位所面临的问题,即缺少合格的员工;第二段说明文科生在就业市场不受青睐的原因:他们缺少技术知识;第三段交待了 “技术考试”设立的背景;第四段介绍了“技术考试”的内容,设立考试的目的,考试举办情况以及考试前景;第四段提出文科教育是否过时的问题,最后一段以一个具体例子说明二者结合的好处。


  bind: [baind] n困扰;困境

  lion's share: 最大或最好的部分

  pervasive: [pE:5veisiv] adj. 遍布的;普遍的

  shy: [Fai] v. (常与away from, at连用)躲避,退避

  proficiency: [prE5fiFEnsi] n. 熟练, 精通, 熟练程度

  spreadsheet: [5spred5Fi:t] n. [计] 电子制表软件, 电子数据表

  credential: [kri5denFEl] n.文凭;凭证;证书

  initiative:[ i5niFiEtiv] n. 主动

  obsolete: [5CbsEli:t] adj. 废弃的;过时的

  discipline: [5disiplin] n. 学科

  transcript: [5trAnskript] n. 成绩单


  But technology companies, which are contributing the lion's share of new jobs, are simultaneously declaring a shortage of qualified workers.

  主体句式:But technology companies… are declaring a shortage…

  结构分析:这一句句子结构并不算复杂,只包含一个非限定性定语从句,但其中用到的表达“the lion's share”可能不太容易被理解。“the lion's share”意味“最大或最好的部分”。



  1. 答案是B,属于事实细节题。从文章第一段和第二段的内容可知,技术公司的用人需求最大,但却缺少合格的员工。在市场上,the need for technical expertise is pervasive.而很多公司不愿意要文科生的原因是“they don't have them”,他们因缺少技能而难以找到工作。

  2. 答案是D,属于判断推理题。文章第二段提到对技术知识的需求如此普遍,连零售商都要求员工具有这种技能。由此可见,D是正确答案。

  3. 答案是D,属于事实细节题。文章第三段最后一行提到设立这一考试目的是“to test and certify their technological proficiency”,所以应选择D.

  4. 答案是A,属于推理判断题。从文章第五段引用大学校长的话,以及马丁的例子可以推知,文科教育仍然很有价值。

  5. 答案是A,属于推理判断题。作者的态度可以从作者的选材角度判断出来。本文提到了Tek Xam这种考试设立的背景,考试的前景以及他带给参加考试者的积极变化。由此可见,作者对这种考试是持肯定态度的。



  高技术公司很少雇用文科毕业生这不足为奇。“我们的公关人员,市场营销人员,甚至律师都有技术才能,”英特尔公司企业事务部主管特雷茜·库恩说。对于技术专长的需求非常普遍,连零售商都要求具有这种技能。“我们公司各个部门都需要掌握一定信息系统技术的毕业生,”美元树(Dollar Tree Stores)的人力资源总监大卫·麦克德蒙说。“一般我们都不会聘用那些没有这些技能的独立学院毕业生。”


  “技术考试”(Tek Xam)由此诞生。它分为八个部分,要求学生设计网站,建立和分析电子数据表,在互联网上调查和研究问题以及证明自己对法律和伦理问题的理解等。VFIC的负责人琳达·戴奇说:“如果一个艺术史专业的学生想得到一份银行的工作,他就要证明自己有这方面的技能。这个证书就是要在这方面帮助他。”今年VFIC成员学校的245名学生参加了这一考试。今后“技术考试”也许能够像法律专业学生参加的“法学院入学考试”(LSAT)和会计专业学生参加的“注册会计师考试”(CPA)一样推广开来。“如果某个学生主动参加并且通过了这个考试,那么也就意味着他需要接受的培训相应减少了,”雷诺兹金属公司的信息主管约翰·鲁丁说到。雷诺兹金属公司也参加了创立这一考试的工作。