Aligning Expectation and Reality About IT Career Preparation: Perception of Job Competencies by Students, New Professionals, and Employers
45 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2014 Last revised: 8 Apr 2015
Date Written: September 17, 2014
The skills that individuals need to compete in the knowledge economy place the emphasis on improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in general and information technology (IT) education in particular. Understanding the underlying use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in all aspects of life sets the educational agenda that guides IT technician education and the future skill sets of IT workers. Prior research has focused on the value of undergraduate IT degrees but not enough is known about the impacts that IT education may have on student employment success and the labor market. This study examines current IT students’ job competency expectations provided in IT college curricula, identifies the actual job competencies new IT professionals need, and describes the alignment between these competencies and the staffing needs reported by northwest Florida employer job postings. This paper presents preliminary findings of the four-year, National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) project, Assessing Information Technology Educational Pathways That Promote Deployment and Use of Rural Broadband in which IT technician education is viewed from the perspective of the student and new professional in an effort to examine how IT workers meet the needs of employers.
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