The information technology (IT) industry is expected to undergo major changes in the next decade that will impact the career plans of every generation of IT worker. "The rate of change has accelerated dramatically," says Alain Chesnais, ACM president and founder of Visual Transitions.
Today's college students will be better prepared than previous generations for the mobile and services-oriented technology landscape of 2020, because they grew up in an age of constant connectivity. However, colleges are in continual catch-up mode to prepare students for the business world, and only recently have added project management and soft skills training to computer science programs. Students who combine a technology degree with business knowledge will get into higher-paying areas of IT, says Dice.com's Tom Silver.
ACM has introduced new curriculum guidelines for undergraduate IT programs that address how computing is used in industries such as law, health, finance, and government, Chesnais says. The guidelines also are influenced by the latest trends, such as the globalization of IT development processes and the ubiquitous use of Web technologies, Chesnais notes.
IT professionals at or near the midpoint of their careers face the biggest challenge in the next 10 years, experts say. A willingness to embrace change will be essential, but midcareer workers also should value their business experience.
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