As you are aware Washington State is not producing enough Information Technology (IT) workers. With the community and technical college now able to offer four-year applied baccalaureates to our state’s students, we have a unique moment to create a cohesive process for coordinating our efforts, sharing best practices, and unifying in order to address the shortage of work-ready IT four-year graduates. Ms. Sigl succinctly summarizes below this call to action for all of our state’s IT educators.
Our economy has been transformed, with tech now the state’s major economic driver. The Washington Research Council reports that technology-related employment increased 119 percent over the past two decades, while the underlying state economy grew only 14 percent. The IT sector created two-thirds of Washington’s job growth and more than half of employee-compensation growth over that time. It now represents 27 percent of all jobs in the state. Highly skilled employees are important for all employers, but they’re the lifeblood of high-tech.
Susan Sigl is the president and CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association.
To address this increasing demand for a skilled workforce, the Center of Excellence for Information and Computing Technology is holding a one-day IT Futures Summit: Pathways to IT Applied Baccalaureate Degrees for Washington State Students, including working with IT Programs of Study & Common Courses on Friday, June 7, 2013 at Microsoft’s Conference Center. We are inviting each Washington State Community and Technical College to bring a team of up to four individuals including the information technology division dean or workforce dean, program chair and two IT faculty (and, if you have a IT baccalaureate manager/advisor, please include them) to the summit. All travel expenditures (hotel, per diem outside of the breakfast and lunch provided at the summit, and mileage) will be covered by Center funding.
- Find out about recent state initiatives in developing common courses and core IT competencies
- Learn about current and proposed IT applied baccalaureate degrees in Washington State community and technical colleges (CTC).
- Hear industry professional’s perspectives on CTC pathways to applied baccalaureate degrees.
- Think about course and levels of preparedness (including courses that prepare students for a rigorous IT Program of Study, for example tech prep courses) that secondary students should be encouraged to take and how K-12 might find courses that articulate or are accepted for program credit at a CTC.
Each Workforce Education Council Administrator has been invited to send a team to represent their college’s IT program, including those who either currently or will be offering IT applied baccalaureate degrees. The agenda for the day can be viewed here.