Sunday, September 16, 2007

IT Faculty Survey

Young professionals looking at career options should heed the advice of information technology (IT) instructors at colleges and universities.

Survey Says . . .

According to a recent survey, the two categories of applications that IT instructors rated student proficiency levels as "limited" or “no proficiency” are as follows:

  1. database applications (68 percent)
  2. spreadsheets (46 percent)

Here are the remaining technology skills in which students are considered most lacking by IT instructors:

According to the survey results, IT instructors expect that more than half of their students will utilize IT skills in their careers after graduation.

The survey results included nearly 800 faculty members, who teach IT courses at four- or two-year colleges and universities. Cengage Learning, formerly Thomson Learning, sponsored this second annual technology survey. A summary is available for review.

The Opportunity

The survey concludes: "This is not a skill set confined to particular major or career interest – it is a life skill."

The Web is calling and young professionals are surprisingly lacking in training in how to use graphic design software and related Web creation tools. Not-so-surprising, young professionals are most ill-prepared to manage data in database applications.


A web professional with database knowledge should continue to do well in today's knowledge economy. As reported consistently in Beantown Web, database knowledge in the form of structured query language (SQL) is the most in-demand technical skill (see right-hand column).

high SQL demand + low SQL supply = employment opportunity

If you are new to SQL, the best training opportunity available in September is self-paced training. Check out a newly released book entitled Head First SQL (Your Brain on SQL -- A Learner's Guide). A 50% discount coupon code offer applies until the end of September when ordering directly from O'Reilly Media. Combined with free shipping, an investment of under $23 is a nominal price to pay for an significant upside of career opportunities.

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