with Strong Technology Skills In Demand Amidst A Challenging Economy
doesn’t take more than reading the daily newspaper to know that
the technology sector is in distress. We’ve seen headlines about
companies failing as the stock market remains in a slump and funding
sources remain on the sidelines. But does this obvious weakness
among technology companies mean that there is no longer a demand
for workers with technology skills? No. Actually, the opposite
is true. Technology has become a pervasive part of virtually every
type of business or organization. As a result, people who understand
how to work with technology continue to be in demand.
Many employers, whether in healthcare or education or financial
services or government, are actively seeking talented professionals
to fill positions that require technology skills. In fact, the
largest employers of information technology (IT) workers in the
United States are non-IT companies. Non-IT companies currently
employ 12 times more IT professionals than companies that have
IT as their primary business focus, according to a December 2002
report by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA).
For anyone considering pursuing an education in technology or
weighing future career options in such an uncertain time, this
is encouraging news.
ITAA’s report also indicates that IT industry hiring managers
across the country will seek to fill 1,183,000 jobs over the upcoming
months, increasing the total number of U.S. IT workers above its
current figure of 10,129,000. So, while many businesses across
the country have reduced their overall spending, they are still
hiring skilled workers to fully utilize the technology they have
invested in over the last several years.
In the New York Metropolitan region, employers are also increasing
their use of and investments in technology applications—in spite
of the economic downturn. New York City is an area that has experienced
exceptionally turbulent times in recent years—both economically
and culturally and it continues to possess a strong need for skilled
DeVry Institute of Technology is seeing this demand first hand.
On average, for the past year ending June 2002, 82 percent of
DeVry graduates who actively pursued employment or who were already
employed when they graduated, held positions in their chosen fields
within six months of graduation. DeVry has been impacting the
workforce of New York’s Metropolitan region for years. Our graduates
are currently utilizing their skills in information technology,
telecommunications, engineering, and computer information systems,
among other disciplines, at local companies throughout the New
York and New Jersey region, such as Canon, GE Medical, the New
York Stock Exchange and Fordham University. Clearly, businesses
nationally and in the New York City Metropolitan area need qualified
college graduates armed with degrees in technology-related fields.
At a time when competition for jobs is most fierce, the importance
of having a strong technology background is greater. The candidates
with the most to offer in this area will have a leg up on others.
Those of us on the front lines of education also understand that
in any environment, individuals who not only are technically proficient,
but have a background and knowledge that will help them navigate
a changing workforce, will have access to the most opportunities
and be best positioned to succeed.#
Engelhardt is President of DeVry Institute of Technology’s Long
Island City campus.
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