NEW IT Alliance- September Tech Upload
New IT News
Happy back to school! With students across the region returning to school, our thoughts naturally turn to education. The NEW IT Alliance and many others have been working on educational opportunities to grow our digital talent. Keep reading to learn more about what’s happening in our region as well as across the state.
Here in Northeast Wisconsin, the NEW IT Alliance and the NEW Manufacturing Alliance have been working with the Department Of Public Instruction’s Career Pathways team to finalize career pathways in IT and manufacturing. Thank you to all of the employers and colleges across the region who have helped provide feedback on required skills, certifications, and post secondary educational pathways available to students interested in pursuing careers in these fields. The IT pathways, which tie into academic and career planning, will be rolled out to regional school districts this fall, and available to students in the 2020-21 academic year. Northeast Wisconsin will be leading the way in offering career pathways in programming, networking, cyber security, project management/business analysis, and data analytics at the high school level. Learn more about Career Pathways here: https://dpi.wi.gov/pathways-wisconsin
One element of the Career Pathways is that students have the ability to apply what they are learning. In order to provide work-based learning opportunities in IT for high school students, the NEW IT Alliance has been working with TechSpark and member organizations to grow the number of employers who offer Youth Apprenticeships, job shadows, or some other type of opportunity for students to experience a working IT department. For companies looking to grow their talent pool, develop their internal leadership skills, and give back to the community, offering youth apprenticeships can be a great opportunity. Contact us if you would like more information about starting a youth apprenticeship, or attend one of our information sessions at our NEW Connect IT event on November 21.
Women Facing Challenges in Tech Field
At the collegiate level, work-based learning opportunities often take the form of internships. Internships and Youth Apprenticeships can be powerful tools for developing the IT talent pipeline in your company. Even more critical to your company’s ability to bring in talent can be your hiring process. Girls Who Code, a national organization focused on getting more young women into the tech field, recently published a study of young women’s experiences interviewing for an internship. An astonishing number of young women, 21%, personally experienced biased questions or inappropriate remarks during their internship interview. As we all face the growing shortage of IT talent it becomes increasingly important that we create an inclusive environment and work to attract an increasingly diverse talent pool.
And it’s not just young women experiencing challenges in the IT workplace. NCWIT has published a 2008 report that shows that over time, 56% of women in tech leave the field – this is about twice the rate as men, and higher than both science (47%) and engineering (39%).
Attraction of young women into the IT field starts already in middle school, if not before. While women only make up about 26% of the IT workforce nationally, our recent survey shows that girls now make up 32% of or Computer Science enrollment in high school in Northeast Wisconsin. We attribute this to the strong efforts of Women in Technology Wisconsin in our region. Through their WIT4Girls initiatives, which include launching Girls Who Code Clubs, girls have an opportunity to explore IT careers in middle school and are provided strong female role models. The growth of the TEALS program in Northeast Wisconsin, all students have the opportunity to further develop their IT skills at the high school level with IT professionals acting as mentors in the classroom. As we move into the new academic year, we hope to grow the number of girls even further through collaboration with TechGirlz, another national nonprofit working to attract girls into IT and engineering. TechGirlz offers a number of free workshops in a box and camps in a box that schools, colleges, and others can use to help inspire young women.
Data Analytics – an in demand career!
Looking at the needs of our regional employers, Data Analyst is a role many companies are looking to hire, with several companies looking to build out significant sized data analytics teams. Over the past three months we’ve had conversations with five companies who are looking to hire roughly 20 data analysts between them. Our regional colleges are working on programs to help skill up new talent as well as existing talent within your departments. UW Oshkosh has recently launched their Data Analytics Certificate at the graduate level, as well as a business analytics certificate and a minor in analytics at the undergraduate level. UW Oshkosh and UW GB both offer a Masters in Data Science, and our regional tech colleges are working to launch programs.
UW Stevens Point offers a major in Data Analytics at the undergraduate level. They are also hosting The Great Lakes Analytics Conference on October 4. Businesses looking for data analytics talent are encouraged to attend.