iSchool presents at TPRC42

Mardis & Spears Research copyFlorida State University’s Information Institute presented the preliminary findings of the National Science Foundation-funded Assessing Information Technology Educational Pathways that Promote Deployment and Use of Rural Broadband project at the nationwide Telecommunication Policy Research Conference, TPRC42. The conference was held at the George Mason University in Arlington, VA from September 12-14, 2014.

Jisue Lee
Jisue Lee

Doctoral candidate Jisue Lee presented the paper in the session of Competition and Markets 4. The paper explained a study, which examined the alignment of expectation and reality in regards to IT career preparation.   This study findings indicate a misalignment of desired information technology (IT) competencies among the three core IT education stakeholder groups in Northwest Florida:

– current students at local 2 year and 4 year college
– recently hired new professionals
– employers.

These stakeholders consider foundational infrastructure design, operations support, and technology awareness as core competencies for entry level IT workforce.

This research suggests more communication and interaction for pursuing the mutually shared goals between education and industry. This initiative will help to decrease the gap between expectation and reality, improve student career success and to build a strong IT workforce. The research is available at the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) electronic repository.

Laura I. Spears, iSchool doctoral candidate and research coordinator of Information Institute, presented another aspect of the NSF ATE study The poster was accepted in the highly competitive first annual TPRC poster contest and highlighted  the sizable gap between local IT job postings from metro and non-metro areas. Further, the poster showed emphasis on the diversity of desired general competencies from job posting ads, and the misalignment of IT competencies between job posting ads and employers.

The Information Institutes will continue the second year of the NSF ATE research aiming to enhance and develop further findings and recommendations for both education and industry to successfully identify efficient student pathways. This research is available at electronic repository of SSRN.

Other contributors to the paper and the poster include Charles R. McClure, Ph.D., director of the Information Institute; Marcia A. Mardis, Ed.D, iSchool associate professor and Internet2 Fellow; CCI Associate Dean Ebrahim Randeree; post-doc researcher, Jinxuan Ma, Ph.D.; Chandra Ambavarapu, and Jon Hollister, iSchool doctoral candidate.