Colleges and universities that want to thrive in today’s changing world understand that training students in technology is crucial to prepare future leaders in business. West Texas A&M University near Amarillo, Texas has taken the initiative to develop unique programs that attract and prepare students in computer science and information technology. Led by Professor H. Paul Haiduk, the school has joined hands with IBM and its System Z mainframe academic initiative—one of only six schools in Texas participating in the program—and continues to graduate top candidates for IT positions among the nation’s largest employers.
This emphasis on IT education was showcased in February when IT-oLogy Dallas attended a career fair on campus. Students were met with a number of companies offering internships and entry-level jobs in banking, agriculture, marketing, sales, and law enforcement in the local area. However, several major IT employers also attended, including Texas Instruments, CA Technologies, BMC Software, and Fidelity Investments. IT managers from each of these companies recruited current students for summer internships and permanent employment upon graduation.
IT-oLogy’s role in career fairs across the nation, led by Teach IT Director Bethany Ferrall, allows us to be a conduit for IT students and companies seeking IT talent. At WTAMU, we spoke to over 50 IT students regarding their careers aspirations and collected their resumes to pass along to our partner companies interested in hiring interns and recent graduates. One of the principal tools in IT-oLogy’s career placement efforts is our IT Gateway, where students can upload their resumes and search for positions among our partners. A free service for students, the IT Gateway is just one more way we can advance IT talent.
Last fall IT-oLogy Dallas participated in the school’s technology summit to foster on-going conversations about the need in academia to do what WTAMU is doing so well. On April 7, 2014, the school will again highlight IT education, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the mainframe computer. WTAMU has asked IT-oLogy Dallas to speak on technology in today’s changing world at the event.
Schools like West Texas A&M University are thriving because they understand that technology drives our global economy. And preparing students to meet the future talent needs in information technology shows the kind of academic leadership that will create significant partnerships with businesses that foster economic development in cities around the world.