I had a conversation the other day with a university student who is studying information technology management. Of his career aspirations in the field of IT, he told me he liked technology and his goal was to eventually oversee the IT operations of an organization. To my surprise, the IT management program in which he was enrolled was part of a business, not technology, degree.
The student said the goal of the program was not to churn out graduates who knew every technology detail of an IT department, but rather develop professionals who could manage from a high level those who did work at the hands-on IT tasks.
After my initial surprise, I realized that academic programs are reflecting the reality of today’s IT department. They are no longer siloed departments operating apart from the business. Rather, IT departments today liaise with the business to ensure users get the full value of IT in a manner that is relevant to them.
When this student graduates, he will start his career equipped with not only technology skills but project management and business management skills. Perhaps graduates like him are the future IT manager who will eventually alter the image of the traditional IT pro and further drive the shifting role of IT in the business.
Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau