DMACC forges parternship for IT jobs

dmacc-newsDMACC announced a formation of an IT industry partnership to better address the growing demand for IT jobs.

According to the Iowa Workforce Development, projections show an estimated 4,000 IT jobs by 2022, one of the reasons DMACC plans to reorganize its IT programs.

DMACC president Rob Denson announced the partnership Wednesday Oct. 15 and spoke with the Chronicle about the plan later that day.

“There is sector demand for IT jobs in the Central Iowa Area. Every business has IT, so it’s not specific to software developers, its manufacturing, it’s everyone. We have a number of strands of IT programming and robotic to telecoms to app development. So, it is mainly DMACC reorganizing its IT offerings to make more sense to students and make it easier for them to choose,” Denson said.

According to Denson, DMACC has convened a new IT partnership board of very high-level IT professionals in most of the major businesses in the area, from Principal Financial Group, Nationwide Insurance, Alliance Technologies, and IBM among others.

“They are big users of IT talent. They are telling us how we can do a better job and what they need and hopefully they’ll help us recruit students into the program. We do a lot of advertising, but businesses can be more effective at getting the word out to primarily young people, but it could be someone in high school, or someone just wanting to do better if they are underemployed,” he said.

The reorganization of the IT programs will include a separate SDV 108 class for students who may be interested in pursuing a career in the IT field. It will also give them a chance to explore the various sectors of IT before eventually committing to one.

The partnership, Denson said, would provide students with paid internship opportunities.

“Many of our students need money to help pay for tuition, etc. Hopefully, we can get them jobs in IT fields while studying in an IT field,” he added.

According to MD Isley, Dean of Business, Management and Information Technology, DMACC has hired people who will help students interested in IT through a step-by-step process.

“I think one component of this is that DMACC is realigning and investing certain resources in this effort as well, and one of those that I think is working very well for us is the creation of these new positions that we have hired called ‘IT’ or ‘pathway’ navigators, and individuals that are basically charged with working with anyone that is interested in IT from the point of educating them early on, recruiting them and then helping them through the entire career process to the point of internships and/or placement with companies as well. So, we have key designated, devoted individuals to help with this too, to increase the numbers,” he said.

Isley, also added the need for the SDV 108 class and the assigned individuals to help student explore the IT field and figure out what area works for them.

“Part of the reason for us going in that direction is that we recognize that we have people that are interested in IT. They get into to a certain area of IT and maybe realize that that’s not quite for them, not performing as well as they would like. So, rather than just let them drift away and go into another area, we want to be sure that we are there to intercept and educate them and help them understand that there are a variety of offerings in IT. Programming may not be for you, networking might be,” he said.

The new partnership does not only target current and/or perspective students, but a broad spectrum of individuals with an interest in the IT field.

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