A Rising Demand for Qualified IT Professionals
A Center of Excellence (COE) is a dedicated team that works closely with the industry and educators to attract students to, and prepare students for, high-demand industries in Minnesota that are currently facing workforce shortages and will continue to in the future. The Minnesota State IT COE offers valuable resources to Minnesota college and university IT faculty members.
The primary driver for the ITCOE was the extraordinary demand for qualified IT professionals throughout Minnesota. Open positions in Minnesota are high in cybersecurity, DevOps, and data science and analytics. Most open positions have a role description that includes career readiness and agile method experiences or competencies. Additionally, the sophistication of virtual learning environments and the speed of change in the industry are driving greater use of online virtual learning, practice, assessment tools, and a robust ecosystem of certification programs to maintain compliance with the field’s rapid evolution.
Still, the cost and integration challenges are often too high for individual faculty or a single institution to take on. Accordingly, the job market’s strength causes employers to hire professionals without the traditional credentials, leading to a shift in the profile of potential students. Employed students need maximum academic flexibility, including online or hybrid programs, certification programs, and credit for prior learning. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System had the critical people, resources, and infrastructure to address this changing market.