Williamson College has announced it will offer an information technology minor within its business degree program, effective this July.
In addition, the Franklin-based college will make a certificate program available to students who already hold a bachelor’s degree and are interested in enhancing their skills in managing IT projects.
“During our leadership’s planning time, we discussed how Williamson College could help address the enormous demand in Middle Tennessee, as well as nationally, for business program graduates to be proficient in overseeing IT projects as part of their management responsibilities,” Ed Smith, Williamson College president, said in a release.
Liza Lowery Massey, president and CEO of the Nashville Technology Council, lauded the move.
“In Middle Tennessee, there are over 800 IT jobs available on any given day, and experts say that the demand for technology sector jobs will grow four-to-one over those in other industries,” Massey said in the release.
Williamson College has approximately 65 students enrolled in its IT management program. The college offers a Bachelor of Science degree in professional studies with a major in IT management and a certificate in IT management.
There's no denying that Middle Tennessee's IT community has a buzz like never before. Networking groups are gaining traction, entrepreneurial ventures are sprouting left and right and various recent events have attracted Googlephiles and those hungry for hackathons. Pub like this Fast Company piece doesn't hurt, either.
So when the Nashville Technology Council's quarterly report on area tech job openings showed a big drop — 17 percent from early this year and 35 percent from last summer — we scratched our heads and called NTC chief Liza Lowery Massey for some perspective.
There's no simple answer that explains the drop, Massey said. Macroeconomic issues definitely play a role — job growth has slowed again nationally and regionally in recent months — while this fall's election has put on hold a lot of people's plans. On top of that, the recent Supreme Court ruling on health care reform may have some of our biggest corporate names treading water as they wait to see how rules and regulations will shake out.
Another factor to consider is that, as efforts by the NTC and others to build a tighter tech community gain a foothold, a lot of hiring activity is becoming more informal and moving away from the job boards that make up the NTC's survey.
One of the positives Massey noted in the NTC's numbers: Two firms outside of health care — law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw & Whitman and logistics giant OHL — showed up among the top companies looking to fill spots. Combine that trend with the other drivers in the local tech scene and things look set to get better, especially once the macro clouds dissipate.
Middle Tennessee's efforts to fill its shortage of IT workers — 1,200 at last count — is getting some priceless national pub courtesy of Fast Company's Alissa Walker. Included in the piece is a challenge for local executives from local tech entrepreneur Nicholas Holland about changing the ways they run their businesses. His message: Let go of the reins and focus more on results.
"Right now, there's a lack of resources so everyone is trying to entice and incentivize the same tech pool," he says. "Larger firms, especially in Nashville, like healthcare firms have the ability to throw a lot of money at the problem, but many workers are looking for other things like a fuller career path, or an ecosystem that supports their personal lives."
HT: Matt Largen
According to an announcement from the Nashville Technology Council last week, the number of vacant technology-related jobs remains high, but not as high as it has been. About 850 tech jobs were open locally on March 31, which was down 18 percent compared to numbers from the end of 2011.
Tennessee as a whole also showed a decrease (-10%) in open tech positions during the quarter to 1,269. The highest number of openings in Middle Tennessee this quarter came from the health care sector - Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Community Health Systems (CHS), Vanderbilt University, Emdeon, and HealthSpring.
“It’s not uncommon to see a small dip in IT openings in the 1st quarter of a given year as companies better define new projects. This decrease is especially true due to the strong hiring trend in 2011. The demand for technology professionals remains strong and the market is extremely competitive. The recruitment, development and growth of tech talent remain integral to the success of Middle Tennessee,” states John Kepley, Principal and CEO at teknetex. Mr. Kepley serves on the NTC Board of Directors and Co-Chairs NTC’s Technology Workforce and Education Committee.
The Nashville Technology Council will use the recently completed Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as a promotional tool, of sorts, as its prepares for its annual membership meeting next week.
Dr. Genevieve Bell, a nationally — and, some would argue, internationally — respected figure within the technology industry, is the keynote speaker for the event. To be called The Many Faces of Technology, the event will take place Jan. 25 at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena (for more details, visit here).
Of note, Bell spoke at the CES and was a major hit, according to Liza Lowery Massey, NTC president and CEO. Bell is a mini-YouTube video sensation (at least with tech types), with numerous presentations available for viewing.
Born in Australia and a trained anthropologist and researcher, Bell serves as the director of Intel Corp.'s Interaction and Experience Research. In 2010, AlwaysOn named Bell one of the top 25 women in technology to watch.
In addition, the NTC event will feature Penny Herscher, president and CEO of First Rain, a B2B software analytics company.
Also speaking will be Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Bill Hagerty, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
“For Nashville, that is a testament to the tech community here — its strength and vibrancy,” Massey said of the lineup.
The Nashville-area tech community was well represented in Las Vegas. Griffin Technology captured three best of show awards, while the following entities with a local office attended or had booths: Absolute Software, HP, Comcast, Intel Corp., Microsoft, Sprint and Verizon.