Why educate students in IT?
We can help our students prepare to enter a global marketplace where careers are increasingly dependent upon information technology.
- IT play an increasing role in all industries and career paths
- IT careers are stable and are some of the highest paying careers.
- From website design and marketing to IT infrastructure, IT offers opportunities for both data-driven and creative thinkers.
- IT professionals work on interesting problems for other people using technology. They will have opportunities to work on some of the most challenging and exciting issues facing the world today.
- IT professionals are in demand, and demand is growing. IT workers are highly sought after as companies of all sizes, nonprofits, and governments look to increase their use of technology to solve their problems. There are many jobs available and not enough candidates to fill them. (Building Northeast Wisconsin IT Talent Pipeline Analysis and Recommendations)
- With an expected 13% job growth over the next several years (as compared to projected growth for all jobs of 6.5%) the demand for IT professionals is outpacing supply.
- Here in Northeast Wisconsin, employers are expecting 3000 new IT positions will go unfilled by 2021.
- Over 90% of IT students are employed or have job offers before graduation.
Helping your students get started
Help students identify their strengths and interests
Match strengths and interests with opportunities
Encourage students to explore and participate in related activities.
- Interview an IT Professional (Questionnaire) <– Make into link with questions below
- Complete a job shadow
- Apply for an IT Youth Apprenticeship
- Participate in IT related clubs
Camps, competitions, and hackathons can be great ways to gain exposure to coding, cybersecurity, and many other aspects of Information Technology. Also, they allow your student to network with others like themselves along with schools and local employers. Check out our events page throughout the year to learn what opportunities there are near you.
IT Alliance job fair (NEW Connect IT)
Register your school to attend the annual job fair hosted by the NEW IT Alliance. This job fair will allow students to talk to regional colleges and employers to learn more about IT careers and paths of study. Some area employers also hire high school students into their IT departments as youth apprentices.
What do people in IT do?
IT, or information technology, is an ever growing field of careers focused on organizing, protecting, and utilizing data to drive business decisions. IT professionals are the people who test, build, install, repair, or maintain the hardware and software associated with sophisticated computer systems in one or more locations. As the world of technology evolves, so do the jobs of IT professionals. Click here to learn more about individual IT careers.
How much does IT Pay?
IT is an exciting career path with many opportunities in all industry sectors like hardware, software; digital business etc…but does it pay well? Yes, it certainly does.
According to (Building Northeast Wisconsin IT Talent Pipeline Analysis and Recommendations) starting salaries for local graduates in Northeast Wisconsin* (associates and bachelors) average $44,500 and range from $25,000 – $90,000, depending on field and degree. Students graduating with degrees in higher demand areas such as cybersecurity and networking will often receive higher starting salaries. In 2015, the average IT salary in Northeast Wisconsin was $79,500 across all IT professions.
What are the next steps we should take?
As a teacher, there are many ways you can help your student start the path toward an IT career. Just reading the NEW IT Alliance website is a great way to start.
High school classes
The list below is no indication of all the classes your students need to take before graduation, but will likely take many of these as graduation requirements. The list below can help your students understand how the classes apply to an IT career.
Math – Always a great class to take, but don’t get caught in the stereotype that they need to be a math genius. Most of the IT roles rely more on logical thinking than the math itself.
Science – Take as much as they can, but the specific subjects are less important. Take the ones that interest them the most, and would most align with the industry they’re interested in. The most important aspect of these classes are the problem solving, and critical thinking skills learned.
Art – 3D, 2D, digital…they all teach creativity which can help in problem-solving. They also teach dimensional thinking which can help with data analytics. If students are interested in more of a web development, marketing, or computer graphics career, even better.
Communications/English – Being able to communicate their thoughts, whether in the code they’re writing or in the presentations they’re giving, is always essential. Many IT jobs today require excellent communication skills, taking these classes in high school will help them through college and future careers. Excellent communications skills can be the difference between a good career and a great career. These skills are highly leveraged in roles such as project management, business analyst, and any leadership position.
Music/foreign language – Helps them learn syntax, loops, and other concepts which make learning a coding language easier. In a global workplace, speaking a foreign language helps them better understand different cultures and perspectives, as well as sets them apart from other job candidates. What about music? Well, …it’s just another language.
Computer science/coding – If your school offers these subjects, students should sign up. These classes will give them exposure to one aspect of IT. If your school does not provide coding courses, there are many online self-study options to learn programming. Check out some of the sites on our Resources page to help them get started.
College credit-granting classes – Not a requirement, but many great opportunities exist for students to collect college credit while in high school. For those students who love a challenge, this can be a great way to reduce college costs later on…whether you choose a two year or a 4-year college program. Students who know they want to pursue an IT career can also leverage the UW Oshkosh 1+3 program.
Check out our Resources area for links to additional information. Also, students should leverage and manage their information on Career Cruising (https://public.careercruising.com/en/ ). Through Career Cruising, they have the ability to log into Inspire, or Your Future (https://foxcities.yourfuturewisconsin.com ) to connect with and learn about area companies. Both tools allow them to explore area employers’ profiles to see how their interests align with local businesses.