Re: The Sorry State Of IT Education
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Strategist
4/22/2014 | 11:45:33 AM
Re: The Sorry State Of IT Education
In a recent commentary found in InformationWeek, Lawrence Garvin observed that IT Education was in a "sorry state." This commentary generated considerable comments from the community.

The premise of the commentary was stated as follows: "As our traditional corporate silos continue to collapse, IT professionals will need to take on more cross-discipline responsibilities to advance their careers."

Garvin points out that in the history of computing and information technology in the mainframe era the vendors provided much of the training to perform "the necessary business functions" of IT, while the employers trained the employee on the "business of their employer." He suggests that there is a dearth of talent to meet the needs of the new environments. He believes that business skills and critical thinking are missing in the dominant training approaches which are exemplified by the high school students who learn on their own or go to a trade school. The results is that the "industry is now flooded with hundreds of thousands of IT professionals fully capable of performing procedures they've been taught, but incapable of thinking through a problem."

The suggested answer to the dilemma is as follows:
  • Encourage professionalism which must include continuing education for the profession,
  • Allow employees to invest time in learning, and
  • Provide the opportunity and resources to develop critical thinking skills.

As a former IT executive and now as the director of a professional graduate degree program, I concur with the observations and conclusions. I believe the program that I direct is one of several that take the business of educating future IT leaders seriously. We offer foundational knowledge developed through the application of critical thinking to problems we present through coursework.

We encourage cross-disciplinary thinking when we teach subjects such as Project Management, Governance, Service Management, and Enterprise Architecture. One cannot be successful in these courses, and one cannot be a successful IT leader, without thinking about the business management and information technology aspects of these subjects. We need professional degree programs to provide the business and technical background required to succeed.

Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of September 25, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.