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Collaborative Addresses ICT Workforce Shortage

Mid-Pacific Information and Communications Technologies CenterThe California Community Colleges system has created a statewide information and communication technologies (ICT) collaborative in response to strong ICT employment demand detailed in a new report. The collaborative will work to coordinate, improve and promote ICT education and workforce development throughout the CCC.

Mid-Pacific ICT Center (MPICT) Executive Director James Jones and California Community Colleges Economic and Workforce Development Center of Excellence Director John Carrese recently announced the availability of a new report on ICT in California and the creation of the new ICT Collaborative.

Information and Communication Technologies is a superset term encompassing all rapidly emerging, evolving and converging computer, software, networking, telecommunications, Internet, programming and information systems technologies. ICT is a comprehensive framework for organizing these inter-related, interdependent and rapidly changing high-tech fields and industries—and the ICT workforce that spans across organizations of all sizes, kinds, types and industries. The ICT term is widely used outside the U.S. ICT is the preferred term used by the United Nations, European Union, World Bank and International Telecommunications Union, for example.

According to the report, aggregated ICT industry and employment sectors are bigger and more strategically important than historically recognized in the U.S. and in California.

  • ICT industries include about four percent of companies, six percent of private sector revenues, four percent of workers and 12 percent of private sector wages in California, with much higher job growth and compensation expected than for most other industries or for the nation as a whole.
  • ICT Workforce occupations span and are strategically important to all industries and most organizations, which leverage ICT for productivity. ICT occupations throughout the economy employ more than a million people in California today, include about 1 in 20 private sector jobs in the U.S. and in California, have strong job growth prospects and pay median wages about twice the California average. ICT occupations are California's 8th largest occupational cluster by job count, and employers are having difficulties hiring an appropriately skilled ICT Workforce—even in this period of high unemployment.

The report, available as a free download from www.mpict.org/ict_study_phase3.html, provides current ICT labor market information, analysis of CCC educational credentials related to ICT, plain language tools for effective communication in this complex and fast changing arena, advice and business and industry input on how to improve community college ICT education and workforce development efforts and recommendations for further study.

The report also announces a coordinated response to this important strategic sector with the creation of the new CCC ICT Collaborative. The collaborative will work to coordinate and improve ICT-related program offerings at the 112 campuses in the CCC system. The collaborative will build on work by the Mid-Pacific ICT Center (MPICT), a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Center of Excellence working to improve two-year college ICT education in a region that includes northern California.

The California Community Colleges system is the largest system of higher education in the nation. It comprises 72 districts and 112 colleges, serving more than 2.76 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills courses in English and math and prepare students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities.

The Centers of Excellence deliver regional workforce research customized for community college decision making and resource development. The centers are funded in part by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office Economic and Workforce Development Program, in partnership with business and industry.

The Mid-Pacific ICT (MPICT) Center is funded in part by the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education program to coordinate, improve and promote ICT education, with an emphasis on two-year colleges in northern California, northern Nevada, southern Oregon, Hawaii and the Pacific Territories.<>

Sandoval Chagoya is the TechEDge Managing Editor and a Project Manager for the
California Community Colleges Technology Center and the California Virtual Campus.


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