Changing Technologies Led to a Career Change


Acil Hurd dreamed of a career in telegraphy. He signed up for Telegraphy School at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. Before Acil Hurd’s enrollment in the program, the program’s creator and founder of the school was touted as ahead of his time. For a young man in the early 1900s training in telegraphy would lead to a solid career in the telegraph services.

As high as Acil Hurd’s plans were, it was not long after he completed his training that the rise of the use of the telephone sent the use of the telegraph into a permanent decline. Employment in the industry became sparse as the entire means of communication in which Acil trained continued to dwindle. Eventually, Ferris State University shuttered the program with the diminishing career opportunities.

While Acil’s original plan was to get the training and education needed for a successful and stable career, he had to adjust to the technological changes of the time. It was in these years that he had to choose to reskill, upskill, or change the trajectory of his career. In Acil’s case, he changed careers and became a janitor and maintenance worker at a private school.

Acil Hurd passed away at 90 years of age in 1972. While I never met him, the story of my great grandfather’s career change due to changing technologies and an ever-advancing world rings true with me. I too faced changes in my career and had to make adjustments to continue proactively.

While I don’t know that my grandfather had a learning network that he leaned into for his career change, I can confidently state that I would not be where I am without the learning and development I’ve had access to as a result of the implementation of my Personal Digital Learning Network (PDLN). One of the most profound things that assisted me in my career change and transition was the community I found in my Personal Digital Learning Network (PDLN). I’d love to connect with you via The Organic Learner on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to begin growing your PDLN.

Feel free to share below how you’ve adapted to the changing technologies we face in the modern era.