Tech Collective, Rhode Island’s Bioscience and Information Technology Industry Association, and Bridge Technical Talent, an IT staffing agency, released a report, “Enter IT RI”, on the skills that are most important for professionals in IT in Rhode Island. The “Enter IT RI” report surveyed hiring trends since 2013 and pulled information on technical and workplace readiness among young professionals.
Occupations in IT are growing rapidly in Rhode Island and the United States. Employers complain, however, that too many applicants do not have the necessary skill sets. Some positions are even harder to fill than others: project management, programming, web design, software development, and business analysis. Only 1% of Rhode Island public high school students take computer science courses. A surprisingly small number of Rhode Island college students major in a computer science field. The shortage of potential IT employees means those with the education and training have a huge opportunity.
Employers look for applicants with Computer Science or Information Technology degrees from 2- and 4-year colleges when they are hiring. 17% of report respondents declared that their field of business was Information Technology and just under 13% described themselves in Software. Another 10% declared they were in Telecommunications and Media. The rest were from fields as diverse as Aerospace and Defense (5%), Education (7%), Health Care (14%) and Manufacturing (14%).
Five IT occupations have a projected growth rate of at least 15% by 2022: Computer Systems Analysts; Application Software Developers; Computer User Support Specialists; Computer & Information Systems Managers; and Web Developers. Such growth indicates that companies are increasingly dependent on skilled IT professionals to help their businesses grow. With 47% of companies seeking entry-level IT employees, many graduates of IT programs can immediately start building toward their success.
Companies use recruitment opportunities at colleges and universities more than any other method. Most companies seek a 4-year IT-related bachelor’s degree. A 2-year IT-related degree ranks second, and yet still provides more advantages than a bachelor’s degree in a non-IT related field. The companies surveyed reported needing additional employees in the next two years, with application development and operations infrastructure being the areas where the greatest need is foreseen.
The major challenge businesses experience in hiring entry-level IT professionals is due to employees lacking professionalism and a strong work ethic. Companies find that technical skills are not enough. Too many employees do not have adequate communication skills, lack self-motivation and/or the ability to work independently. They evidence no leadership traits. Too many do not understand business strategy and cannot explain their work to non-technical audiences.
84% of employers say that “motivation” is a characteristic important to hiring.
76% look for a “positive attitude.”
64% want to see a “work ethic.”
At New England Institute of Technology, the Master of Science in Information Technology recognizes the importance of these business and management skills. Courses are designed to cover technical topics as well as the necessary business strategies, behaviors and characteristics that contribute to success.
Learn more about how NEIT can help you become a successful part of the growing IT field.
Enroll today and get your MSIT.