In response to recent calls for research relating to employers’ perceptions of the workplace readiness of new graduates in a variety of fields, the purpose of this paper is to report North Florida employers’ perceptions of information technology (IT) program graduates’ workplace readiness. These findings are relevant to stakeholders in growing technology regions.
Researchers conducted 18 semi-structured interviews with IT employers in North Florida. Data were deductively coded with codes derived from national standards. Interviewee verbatim was also inductively coded by theme.
While employers valued a blend of technical and general skills and hands-on experience, they also sought new professionals who possessed fundamental understandings of business and computer programming to tailor their problem-solving skills to the specific company environment.
This research represents a limited number of employer viewpoints in one representative community.
Ongoing industry input into curricula and expanded experiential opportunities may ensure that graduates are prepared to address current and future IT developments. Because the region under study was typical of many regions with growing technology sectors, these findings may inform partnerships, curriculum, and program design.
Given the rapid growth and constant advances of the IT sector, institutions with IT degree programs are challenged to ensure that their curricula are current and meeting the needs of employers. This study’s findings may offer timely insight into elements of workforce preparedness.
Hollister, J., Spears, L., Mardis, M., Lee, J., McClure, C. and Liebman, E. (2017), "Employers’ perspectives on new information technology technicians’ employability in North Florida", Education + Training, Vol. 59 No. 9, pp. 929-945. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-02-2017-0019Download as .RIS
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