Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Valley Vision report could change IT community college instruction

Feb 21, 2014, 2:39pm PST UPDATED: Feb 21, 2014, 4:37pm PST [Go Steve!]
Sacramento Business Journal


A new Valley Vision report suggests community colleges need to form curriculums around what IT companies need for their workforces.

Allen Young
Staff Writer-Sacramento Business Journal
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A new report by Valley Vision will help area community colleges align their curriculum around the needs of local IT companies, said an educator with the California Community Colleges system.

The report, a needs assessment based on interviews with managers from companies such as Xerox and RagingWire, was released to the public this week and describes the challenges faced by capital region IT firms in finding and recruiting talent.

But perhaps more importantly, the report outlines the kinds of specialty skills that are in demand here locally. That information will inform faculty at surrounding community colleges on which industry certifications lead to available jobs, and they can write curriculum accordingly, said Steve Linthicum, an information and communications technology professor at Sierra College.

“Curriculum alignment is important,” he said. “We don’t want to lose the VSPs of the world because they can’t find people who can do the job."

Linthicum is acting as a liaison between Valley Vision and the various community college faculty committees tasked with writing curriculum.

For example, the report says mobile application developers were “the emerging need most frequently cited by company leaders” but companies struggle to find qualified applicants because few training programs exist in the relatively new field.

“The goal from a community college perspective is to get our students to become taxpayers as quickly as possible,” Linthicum said.

Allen Young covers state legislation, regulation and contracts, as well as economic news, international trade and economic development for the Sacramento Business Journal.

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