Tech Tuesday: college collaboration improves IT program

Minot, ND - Careers in the information technology field are projected to grow by 20-point-five percent by 2024, that's according to Job Service North Dakota's Labor Market Information.

Job Service ND considers that growth to be high.

That's compared to careers with what's considered to be little or declining job growth projections, like some construction or clerical positions.

With so much growth in the IT field, Dakota College at Bottineau recently relocated it's IT program to Minot.

This allows the professor to reach more students in more places, and it's not very surprising that it's made possible by using the latest technology.

"Every business has a website, of course, and a lot of people go to that website for knowledge," Dakota College at Bottineau's IT Program Coordinator, Trisha Nelson said.

But what about the people who help make those websites?

Through the Northern Information Technology Consortium, Dakota College at Bottineau is now able to broaden their IT program and reach students on their own campus, at Lake Region State College, Turtle Mountain Community College, and Williston State--all from an office at Minot State.

Nelson said,  "This way we can bring a larger audience together to one class and then they're also getting a lot more different perspectives from other students from across the state as well."

KX News caught up with Nelson and her students as she taught a Photoshop course.

For one student, the ability to take this course will help him complete a one-year certification program and get right into the work force.

(Trhea Brannin/Williston State College) "I want to pursue graphic design and make a business," Williston State student Trhea Brannin said.

For another, this class is a requirement toward her major as she pursues a degree in photography.

"I think it's good. It's really nice even though she's not in person, it's nice. It's better than an online class," DCB student Lacey Patzer said.

"Your future in graphic design or marketing or really anything you do within the digital world is going to make your life easier once you learn how to use a lot of those tools and make them work to your advantage," said Nelson.

She said classes like this one will help students learn the skills that are necessary in many of today's employment opportunities.

"Really bolstering up this IT program and doing sort of this convergence of computer science with digital media, we'll be able to create social media managers, which is a large and upcoming employment opportunity throughout the state and really nationwide."

Social media is just one example among the many goals of the students currently enrolled in the IT courses.

Students said they're interested in graphic design, photography, and even coding, which Nelson said she is especially excited to teach.

According to Job Service of North Dakota, growth in coding jobs from 2014 to 2024 is projected to increase by 19 percent.


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