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|Changing Career to IT! (Any grad will
do, well almost!) Huntley Associates
(Dallas), Inc., has been actively involved in the IT industry for over 20 years and
continuously monitors the software development and programming positions occupied by
Programmer Analysts. We are responsible for the recruitment of Programmer Analysts in
numerous Software Programming and Application Development projects. We work under the
direction of several project leaders and project managers to identify the right candidates
with good communication skills and technical aptitude for a given project. We are involved
in not only selecting the candidates, but also monitoring their performance on the job.
As technology is continuously growing and software packages evolving, the demand for capable Programmers and Programmer Analysts is skyrocketing in the USA. Since the availability of skilled software professionals to match the exact project requirements is not keeping pace with the demand, companies are forced to continually retrain employees, or consultants to meet market requirements.
It is our personal observation, especially in the IT industry, that candidates with good academic credentials climb the learning curve faster than those without degrees. It has been the professional practice to hire Programmer Analysts with a Bachelor of Science degree with a specialization in Computer Science or Computer Engineering before hiring someone with equal skills without a degree. It is believed that the knowledge accrued through the process of obtaining a degree helps the candidates maturity while applying his skills in the business world. Realizing that there is no substitute for experience, management always looks for candidates with a good blend of academic merit and practical experience.
In view of the recent shift from an industrial based economy to that of information systems management, we find an increasing number of software professionals with noncomputer science degrees entering the IT industry. With the scope of jobs in the IT industry widening to encompass numerous commercial systems the integration of functional knowledge of these systems with knowledge of computer science is essential. Since it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find candidates with dual degrees encompassing these areas management finds it easier to employ candidates with different majors like computer science, engineering, commerce, business administration among several others. An ideal person for a majority of software engineering projects requires some background in computer languages, operating systems, numerical algorithms, system analysis, accounting and management. In the absence of a specialized degree in Computer Applications, it is generally accepted in the computer industry to consider engineering graduates.
Traditionally, engineering programs have been designed to include courses in science, mathematics, exposure to physical systems (concepts of civil, electrical, mechanical engineering), engineering economics (accounting, commerce), project management (scheduling, production, reporting/marketing) and team oriented group projects. Either directly or indirectly, the magnitude of transferable skills developed through traditional engineering programs is intangible and highly relevant to the modern IT industry. In order to face the current challenges of today's workplace, the traditional programs have been altered to intensify the above skills, but also by adding some essential courses like computer programming, numerical procedures, computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) among others. Although universities have become older, and their engineering specializations have remained the same, fresh graduates of engineering disciplines are useful to software development in the IT industry since 'innovation' is at the root of most engineering curriculum.
David E. Huntley, CPC - President/CEO
Huntley Associates (Dallas), Inc
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P.O. Box 167
Allen, TX 75013, USA
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