Welcome to Influencing the Academic Agenda
Permit me to introduce myself. I'm Jo Hoppe, and I serve as President of the Board of the Boston Chapter of SIM. For the last few years, our chapter has been hard at work on a number of initiatives designed to attract young people into the field of information technology. We have participated in the Future Potential in IT program as well as other outreach programs designed to attract and support those interested in pursuing technology careers who might not have the financial resources or mentors to actualize their aspirations.
Recently our chapter decided to expand its efforts by reaching out to academic institutions in the hopes of influencing their IT curricula, as we are finding that few higher educational institutions are offering programs that prepare students for the skills most in need in the IT workplace: project mangement, business skills, business analysis, network and system administration, business process management. It has been our hope that by bringing academicians together with senior IT executives, who can effectively articulate the business needs that are unmet by most Information Technology degree progams, that we can influence the academic agenda and ensure the health of our profession.
It occured to me that this initiative might be more effectively handled at the national level of SIM where we could leverage the size, brand, and influence of our national organization. At the last Chapter Leaders meeting, I raised the possibility of forming a workgroup dedicated to working on this initiative. I was also directed to a very impressive white paper which had been commissioned by the SIM Advocacy Research Team on the Trends and Implications facing the Information Technology Workforce. In reading the paper, it became clear that the issues we have been struggling with in Boston are prevasive and that there is substantive national data to support our conclusions.
I thought one of the best places to start would be to solicit participation from those who were involved in the creation of this white paper. SIM National will also be reaching out to each Chapter President to solicit participation from each chapter. I had the good fortune of meeting Kate Kaiser recently who was attending a conference in Boston. She was able to provide some useful background on the history of the research paper, and she also provided her perspective on what would be needed both from business as well as academia to make headway on this important intiative.
If you are currently a SIM member and are interested in serving on this important committee, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add your name to the list. Not a SIM Member? Click here to learn more about membership in the organization.