From the President, Lonnie Emard
Rather than quote to you the words shown on the founders agreement, the website, or in various presentations, I would like to walk you through the original and lasting perspective of the organization branded IT-oLogy. Our tagline says“advancing IT talent”, and the word advancing was chosen carefully. Since the driving force in forming this consortium of businesses and academic institutions was the ever increasing skill gap in the information technology profession, the word advancing creates a sense of a continuum for individuals, where development steps are taken and people find themselves in one of these situations.
1) A student first learns about careers and opportunities in the IT profession.
2) A student decides to build skills outside of the classroom in an area that interest them.
3) A student finds classes in school that are industry validated and applicable to real work.
4) A teacher (part of the IT profession when they teach computing) gets certified and equipped.
5) A student enrolls in higher education in a degree area (major or minor) in computing and IT.
6) A student acquires hands on skills through projects, internships and apprenticeships.
7) An adult, either employed or unemployed, learns about careers/opportunities in IT.
8) An adult decides to build skills in an IT area that interests them.
9) An adult enrolls or re-enrolls to gain computing and IT skills.
10) An adult acquires hands on skills through projects, internships and apprenticeships.
When these steps of “advancing IT talent” happen over and over again, we see the potential in closing the gap. These 10 steps happen more efficiently and effectively when businesses and higher education work together to create the right message, curriculum and joint activities to address the needs of these students and adult career changers so that they become employable in the IT profession.
IT-oLogy addresses these requirements in the continuum through two initiatives called Promote IT and Teach IT. The vision is that IT-oLogy, as an organization made up of many parts, is involved in identifying, developing and delivering programs to help individuals move through the skill building process. This is referred to as workforce development and we are a part of this process, locally in communities, across several states and through influence nationally.
Our mission to advance IT talent has helped thousands of people get to the point of being hirable. Yet the continuum doesn’t end there. Once someone is in the IT profession, the demand for employees to keep their skills current is real and is part of the career path for people to continue to advance.
Since there are 26 occupations in the IT profession, each having their own requirements for advancement, but all leading to technical and managerial leadership opportunities, I won’t show all of those here, but note that IT-oLogy has developed roadmaps for guidance.
IT-oLogy has a third initiative called Grow IT that is all about IT employees and their companies finding innovative and cost effective ways to advance IT talent through joint knowledge sharing, professional development, IT management and leadership courses and collaborative projects. Once again IT-oLogy has served thousands of existing IT professionals in taking the next step.
The result of a concerted effort to advance IT talent through the continuum beginning with someone knowing “zero about IT”, all the way through various levels within the IT profession, is that we have made a significant impact on the skills gap. Are we done yet? Absolutely not. Have we created a model that considers every aspect of what it takes for companies who hire IT professionals to thrive and be successful? Absolutely yes.
When this all comes together for startups, small companies, medium and large size companies in a community, what is the outcome that has been observed? It has been economic development and distinctive competitive advantage.
Be a part of IT-oLogy, starting right now!
Tell me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on twitter @lonnieemard