IR4: A Mobilized WA State

Faculty Training Professional Development: Access and Action

This systematic and systemic project will prepare Washington State’s Community and Technical College Information Technology (IT) programs for the new IT occupations and technical knowledge and skills of college graduates that are or will be impacted by the  4th Industrial Revolution.  Updating the IT programs of community and technical colleges across the state, including creating training opportunities, is integral to keeping Washington state’s IT industry robust and energized.

One of the critiques of higher education’s programs of study, particularly in IT, is they aren’t able to quickly update curriculum so employer needs are met with well-prepared graduates.

While this isn’t always the case, IT employers are faced with industry changes caused by disruptive technologies and confront a rapidly growing skills gap; they want workers who can rapidly adapt/adopt their technical knowledge and skills for new developments in IT.  If this need is not met, what do they do?

There is a growing list of new occupations, as well as a sizeable increase in the number of job demand for specific job titles.  Additionally, there are new requirements (technical knowledge and skills) that are emerging because of the market place changes caused by these disruptive technologies. A few examples of these new occupations include:

  • Automation Developer
  • Data Scientist and Insights Specialist
  • Deep Learning Specialist
  • Computer Vision Specialist
  • IoT Architect or Developer
  • Machine Learning Specialist
  • Software Developer for Digital Care, Chatbots, ELearning

IT faculty often don’t have an understanding, nor the time, to learn these new technical knowledge, acquire the skills necessary to update their curriculum, and then teach these new subjects.  Additionally, creating new courses, certificates, or degrees requires the expertise in these new areas to map out a new program of study.

The Center goal is to create an AAS/BAS for the following programs of study listed below.  This includes a quarterly schedule with courses, including general education recommendations, as well as master course outlines for colleges to adapt/adopt.  The two highlighted programs of study have an AAS/BAS schedule of courses, master course outlines, and in the case of the Robotics/AI degree, the courses are available on CANVAS. They can be accessed by following these instructions (CREATE PAGE FOR THIS).

  • Artificial Intelligence (robotics, included): software development, data analytics, basic networking
  • Internet of Things (IoT): software development, data analytics, basic networking
  • Data Science (DS): across applicable IR4 occupations/areas of specialization
  • Software Development: across all six IR4 occupations/areas of specialization, may also support gaming developer occupations
    • Web/Mobile Development: software development, data analytics, AI
    • Security: ethical hacking, IoT

To access the two degree templates (quarterly/yearly for 2/4 years), please select the link to download.

To request the master course outlines for either/both degrees, please contact the Center director at