TriCom Technical Services

Educating Tomorrow’s IT Professional Today

In Guest Posts on October 15, 2010 at 3:32 pm

The following guest post is authored by Steve Mallard, blogger at TTC Shelbyville – Technical Blog.

Once every quarter our IT department meets to look at the future of Information Technology.  Educating students and giving them the much needed skills of a well rounded education in the IT industry is becoming more and more challenging.  With Cloud Computing, Security, Virtualization, Mobile computing and other technologies that are growing at an unprecedented rate, it becomes a challenge to look into the future.   In today’s world, educating tomorrow’s IT Professional today seems next to impossible.  With the recession still lingering and competition in a global economy; it becomes pertinent to give these students the needed skills to begin a career in IT.

Our approach is different from most organizations.   We spend 30 hours each week with our students by lecturing approximately 20 hours each week and spending the remaining ten hours performing labs and completing live work orders for our institution, non-profit organizations and government institutions.  We can no longer just focus on getting students certified in a vendor or vendor neutral certification; we have to give them the hands on skills needed to be successful.  In order to maintain retention and graduation rates, students need constant guidance and reassurance.  Because education can’t stop at our institution, we have articulation programs in place with other colleges and universities to assist with the professional growth of graduates and regularly conduct alumni surveys.

So does it take all of this to deliver IT professionals in today’s world?  Yes.   As technology grows and the role of the IT professional changes; so should educational institutions and programs designed for new IT professionals.  With a curriculum that is always changing; institutions have to find the educators that change as technology evolves.    Traditionally the basics never changed.  In this day and time the basics change faster than ever.  In the classroom, educators not only train students on the latest technology; they have to educate students how to think analytically, deal with customers, exhibit strong worker ethics and to make their future employers lean and competitive.

Steve Mallard is the IT Manager and Lead Computer Information Technology Instructor at the Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville in Shelbyville, Tennessee.  TTC Shelbyville is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the University and Community College System of Tennessee.

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