, University of Maryland University College
, Johns Hopkins University
Pages: pp. 14-15
Abstract—This special issue on IT in Education provides perspectives from industry, government, and academia in terms of how we should educate IT professionals in the coming years. Keywords: Information technology, education, IT professional
IT professionals will continue to be in demand in the coming years. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Employment of computer and information systems managers is expected to grow 17 percent over the 2008–2018 decade, which is faster than the average for all occupations." 1 Selected fields within the IT profession, such as cybersecurity, will be in even greater demand. According to a Center for Strategic and International Studies publication, there's a shortage of approximately 30,000 cybersecurity professionals in the Washington, D.C. area alone. 2
Even within the fast-growing and broad information and computing sector, IT-oriented jobs are strongly represented. The occupational category that includes data processing, Web and application hosting, and streaming services is expected to grow 53 percent, second behind only biomedical engineers among all occupations. 1 These job projections are more than double the expected number of computing graduates over this period. 3
As we look ahead, how we educate future IT professionals will have a profound impact on our society. IT employers often complain that IT graduates generally lack critical-thinking, project-management, team-building, and interpersonal communication (both oral and written) skills. Universities and corporate training programs must focus on these skills and on emerging IT concerns in our global environment. As such, this special issue of IT Professional focuses on future educational issues for IT practitioners.
This special issue provides perspectives from industry, government, and academia in terms of how we should educate IT professionals in the coming years. Certain trends seem apparent—for example, e-learning and social media engagement will continue to play growing roles in educating future IT professionals. The use of experiential learning—for example, through capstone projects and e-mentoring—will also continue to be an integral part of the IT education process. And, in the next few years, educators will increasingly use cloud computing, e-books, virtual worlds, mobile computing, Web 2.0 tools, and other emerging technologies to train IT professionals.
We hope this special issue provides some enlightenment to IT educators and practitioners in terms of exploring creative ways to better educate our future IT workforce.