Assessing Alignment between Information Technology Educational Opportunities, Professional Requirements, and Industry Demands
Marcia A. Mardis, Jinxuan Ma, Faye R. Jones, Chandrahasa R. Ambavarapu, Heather M. Kelleher, Laura I. Spears, Charles R. McClure
Education and Information Technologies Volume 23, Number 4, ISSN 1360-2357
Information technology (IT) and computing are growing fields, offering far more job opportunities than applicants. Yet, little data are available to indicate how course content, employer needs, and additional learning opportunities work together the prepare graduates to enter the IT workforce. To understand the extent to which learners were prepared to for these highly technical careers, we used text analysis to examine the extent to which course syllabi, job postings, internship postings, and industry certifications from information technology preparation programs at state college and two universities commonly reflected national IT curriculum knowledge areas. Integrated data suggested that while the two-year and four-year programs imparted key technical skills, to qualify employers sought applied, or "soft," skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, and written and verbal communication. These soft skills were more difficult to detect as learning outcomes, but the determination of the extent to which the examined programs foster these skills presents a fertile area for subsequent research.
Mardis, M.A., Ma, J., Jones, F.R., Ambavarapu, C.R., Kelleher, H.M., Spears, L.I. & McClure, C.R. (2018). Assessing Alignment between Information Technology Educational Opportunities, Professional Requirements, and Industry Demands. Education and Information Technologies, 23(4), 1547-1584.