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A Study Of The Needs Of The Information Technology Industry

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.63.1 - 5.63.10



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Pete Tschumi

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2793

A Study of the Needs of the Information Technology Industry Pete Tschumi University of Arkansas at Little Rock


The study examines the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by employees in information technology industries. The study focuses on companies with headquarters in central Arkansas but has broad implications both for needs around the country and in terms of the processes used to do the study. This paper examines the strategies and procedures used to do the study, examines key results of the study, and curricula changes being made by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in response to the study.


In recent years, those companies in the information technology in Arkansas have found it increasingly difficult to hire enough qualified individuals to meet their needs to the extent that a few of them have found their growth limited by the lack of employees rather than a lack of business. James Hendren, founder and former CEO of ArksSys, did a survey of the five largest companies in the central Arkansas area for the university and found an estimated 1,300 employee shortfall will occur in 1999, primarily in the areas of information technology. Also fewer than 500 Arkansans are expected to be qualified and available to fill the job openings in high-tech companies. In their discussions with university officials, the leaders of information technology companies have intensified their emphasis on the need for the university to address this problem. As a result, Chancellor Hathaway of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock resolved to meet the needs of industry.

As the first step, Chancellor Hathaway established an Information Technology Committee to guide the University in meeting the information technology needs. Simultaneously, the University began the process of creating a new college: the Donaghey College of Information Science and Systems Engineering. As a result, a study of the needs in information technology was done and several new programs were started in the new college. The focus here will be on how the study was done, the results of the study and the effect on the curriculum.

The Information Technology Committee

An Information Technology Committee was composed of faculty from across the campus including two from psychology, two from engineering technology, one from computer information systems in management, and four from diverse areas on campus. The Committee developed six operational goals. These goals were as follows:

1. Develop a data gathering strategy to determine desired and needed competencies of employees in the information technology industry in Arkansas.

Tschumi, P. (2000, June), A Study Of The Needs Of The Information Technology Industry Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8728

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