Monday, January 13, 2014

College of Computing & Informatics a National Leader in Producing More I.T. Graduates

By Paul Nowell

In 2011,, a leading career website for technology professionals, issued a report which concluded the United States had a pressing need for more skilled workers to meet the growing demand for technology professionals.

Recently, Dice issued a follow-up report showing the demand for skilled computer graduates had indeed resulted in large increases in the number of new grads in the field.

Dean Yi Deng
How does this relate to UNC Charlotte?  Read the analysis of Yi Deng, dean of UNC Charlotte’s College of Computing and Informatics. In fact, Deng was the first academician quoted by the website in the follow-up report.

In an interview with Dice, Deng noted that UNC Charlotte has ascended quickly in the fierce competition to produce a number of talented computer graduates. The effort includes high-profile universities such as Duke and UNC Chapel Hill in North Carolina, and nationally, institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford and Carnegie Mellon.

UNC Charlotte’s number of IT undergraduates earning bachelor’s degrees recently spiked 41 percent year over year, said Deng, who attributed the huge surge to a concerted effort to grow the size of the college to meet an increased demand for IT talent from the private sector and government.

It’s another example of how North Carolina’s urban research university is gearing its curriculum to meet the needs of the private sector and government. The students get a comprehensive education and graduate with relevant skills that get them high-wage jobs that need to be filled in 2014 and beyond.

As Deng described it, the growth in tech jobs isn’t likely to end any time in the near future, in large part because of what he describes as “major structural changes” not only within tech, but within the American workplace at large.

“If you look back a couple decades, IT was pretty much a vertical industry driven by players from IBM to Microsoft to Google and so forth,” Deng told Dice. “If you look at the industry now … I think it’s very fair to say that every industry has become an IT industry.”

Deng says the growth is the culmination of strategic planning to meet what the college saw as a f need for more tech-skilled professionals at both undergraduate and graduate levels, with a variety of interests and abilities.

“We’re doing this with very close consultation with a number of industries,” he told Dice. “Our view, in terms of education, is that you’ve got to be market driven. You don’t want to create a degree way ahead of industry. In other words, you don’t want to graduate people when nobody is ready to hire them.

“On the other hand, you do want to stay at the front curve of industry changes, and meet the talent demands.”


Paul Nowell is media relations manager in the Office of Public Relations.

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