KEARNEY – A new articulation agreement between the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Central Community College aims to increase the number of information technology professionals in central Nebraska’s workforce.
The partnership streamlines the path for CCC students who complete the Associate Science transfer degree in IT to complete their Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science or Information Technology through UNK’s Department of Computer Science and Information Technology.
“We are very excited about the prospect of our CCC graduates continuing their education in computer science or information technology at UNK,” said Craig Shaw, IT instructor for CCC.
Sherri Harms, UNK CSIT chair, sees the agreement as an opportunity for both educational institutions and businesses in the region. “It offers a high-quality Bachelor of Science program for CCC students and provides UNK with regional students prepared to complete their Bachelor of Science degree.”
Harms pointed to a number of statistics that show demand for computing professionals – both nationally and in central Nebraska – exceeds the current supply of graduates. They include:
- Nebraska Workforce Trends’ 10-year outlook for computer and math occupations shows nearly 17-percent growth – or 462 jobs – in central Nebraska. Software developer jobs are expected to grow by 30 percent and add 719 jobs in Nebraska. Database administrator positions are expected to grow at 24 percent, while network and computer systems administrators are pegged for 22-percent growth.
- Software developer was rated as the best job in both 2013 and 2014 by Forbes Magazine and U.S. News and World Report, and two other IT jobs made their lists of 10 best jobs.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 22.8 percent employment growth for software developers between 2012 and 2022, much faster than average for all occupations. During that time period, an estimated 139,900 jobs will need filled.
“This agreement is aimed at tackling IT workforce deficit in central Nebraska,” Harms said. “It provides access to quality IT education to more people, and will increase the number of IT professionals in the workforce in central Nebraska.”
In 2012, there were 2,917 computing professionals in central Nebraska, according to the Nebraska Department of Labor.
ABOUT UNK COMPUTER SCIENCE AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
The CSIT programs at UNK have strong relationships with central Nebraska employers such as The Buckle, Xpanxion and Cabela’s.
Central Nebraska businesses have earned four of the past eight University of Nebraska Walter Scott Entrepreneurial Business Awards, including this year’s recipient, Hollman Media.
The Walter Scott Entrepreneurial Business Award is designed to encourage existing businesses with a presence in Nebraska to create partnerships and links with the University of Nebraska in the area of technology.
Other central Nebraska businesses receiving the Walter Scott Entrepreneurial Business Award include: Valley Medical Management Services, 2012; Xpanxion, 2010; and Intellicom Computer Consulting, 2006. These companies rely on CSIT student interns, as well as graduates, entering the workforce.
– Contact: Sherri Harms, 308.865.8123, email@example.com