Introduction: In considering what transforms someone who has even a mild curiosity about pursuing an academic and career pathway in IT, one of the primary questions is, what are the critical components that can produce an ideal IT
- job candidate, and finally,
Is there a formula to this composition? What are the different critical elements that might be distilled into a general guideline that informs IT educators and students when building and refining an IT Program of Study? Can an actionable plan and series of steps build something concrete that better prepares the IT student? Questions were developed for a team of IT professionals to extract a list of ingredients for IT educators and students to reflect upon as they start their next academic year.
This report, Building an IT-Ready Washington: 2015 and Beyond outlines the in-demand technical skills and knowledge, including employability skills, IT students should become familiar with as they are required by prospective employees. The information, resources, and expansion on what these technical knowledge and skills are, and why they are important increases the probability the IT student will be prepared to meet their future employer’s job requirements and responsibilities. This report also showcases and details a compilation of standards for IT students and educators in creating clearer expectations of what an IT program should be offering in terms of content. Essentially, these highly desirable attributes, as identified by a team of IT professionals, should be absorbed into the student’s lexicon upon graduation.
Authorship of all reports and interview: Maureen Majury, M.Ed.
Section 1. For an IT graduate (whether a 2- or 4-year degree) about to enter the workforce, we asked our IT Professionals what are the top five IT courses and subsequent IT concepts/competencies they should have mastered? For example, networking, programming, database design/development, etc.
Section 2. What new technology competencies should the IT graduate be anticipating and searching out to master either in college, a training program, opportunities provided online, or by self-mastery (reading a book, or IT content-specific website)?
Section 3. Often, IT employers bemoan the lack of innovation and critical thinking in an IT graduate. Why do you think that is? What can a student do to “grow” their own capacity to innovate think critically?
Section 5: What Constitutes the Ideal IT Student? The IT professionals were asked, based upon their own IT experiences, to take the diagram below and write down which qualities would make up the ideal IT student. They were asked to think about this in the context of their IT expertise/specialization (i.e. web, programming, gaming, etc.)