Are They Ready? Integrating Workforce Readiness into a Four-Year College IT/IS Curriculum
The fast pace of change in industry trends, practices, and technologies mandates that college students graduate with portable competencies and skills to enter the workplace. However, employers' concerns of skill shortages among college graduates keep surfacing in various workforce readiness reports and surveys. The purpose of this paper is to present a workforce development framework that can be used to guide higher education educators in Information Technology/Information Systems 4-year programs to bridge the aforementioned gap. We integrate the CERT® workforce development model with the constructivist theory and experiential learning model as the essential guiding principles in developing the undergraduate IT/IS program. Further, we demonstrate our detailed curriculum programming and discuss how the guiding principles have been implemented to improve IT students' workforce readiness, starting from freshman year and through their college lives. The paper concludes with the evaluation process and discussions on outcome assessment results.