The other day, I received a call from a state representative regarding the information posted on my web site. I was questioned about its content. The woman on the telephone was totally non-communicative, arrogant, and oblivious to the answers given in response to her questions.
Having been formally unemployed for more than a year, the last thing that I wanted was to jeopardize my UC bennies. The content of my web site(s) are not only meant to profoundly convey information to visitors, but to display my particular skills and talents. The woman wasn’t having any. The more she spoke, with defiance, the more it became obvious that she was not an IT Person. Her telephone cadence ended with her assuring me of forthcoming follow-up contact from an investigator.
The site content not only speaks for itself, but it is very clear that it does not generate revenue for my personal gain. Albeit, revenue generation of family, friends, and acquaintances is the sole benefit to the business and activities pertaining to those particular individuals. The posted data is primarily intended to aid people in educational, current and past events, and employment connections. The site also aids my job search and exposure to perspective employers. The intent is to make an impression.
Computer Science Students of color are highly underrepresented in the IT Workforce.
People of color with degrees are the least represented group prepared for IT jobs in the information technology industry. The implication displays serious dissension for higher education as well as with the IT industry. The limited number of IT workers is not only limited to people of color. The attraction and retainment by employers of a particular group represents a major deficit to the information technology workforce. Underrepresented groups, i.e., African Americans, Latino Americans, Women, and Older workers would profoundly benefit the expansion of information technology workforce needs. The 1998 report by Herman D. Hughes, a professor at Michigan State University said, “Studies have shown that if those underrepresented groups were fully participants in the IT workforce, there would be no IT workforce shortage.
“New Legislation, White House policy, and a Cyber Security Czar should help the situation. The lack of centralized leadership has hindered information sharing on vulnerabilities and uncertainty about government security policy remains to be done in opening up data silos”, according to Mr. J. Nicholas Hoover of TechWeb.com.
Federal agencies reported that various intelligence agencies had pieces of information about the U.S. attackers of September 9, 2001. This non-communication faux pas aided to gaps in information sharing among these pertinent agencies. Mr. Hoover also said that no agency had all the pieces needed for a complete information package. However, “there has been progress since then, from multi agency information sharing agreements with the adoption of wikis and blogs.” Albeit, rifts and gaps remain, terrorism information sharing has become a government wide approach to data sharing.
“Information sharing mandates and training programs have been implemented by fewer than half of the affected agencies,” says Hoover. The Markle Foundation finds “old habits die hard!” All agencies are required to disclose details of their stimulus spending as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This includes all states involved and the jobs that have been created. Consistency is sought by the Treasury Department with regard to its financial reports with government wide treasury accounts. Improvement within the White House Office of Management and Budget is expected to create cohesive financial management systems in its improvement efforts, according to Hoovers’ report.
The question is why is it that redundant non-interoperable systems remain normal within government agencies? Hoover states, “Many agencies insist on maintaining their independence and those that want to open up face technical obstacles in sharing information.” He cites the Department of Defense as a case in point. Military branches resist utilizing Defense Information Services Agency (DISA) or the Defense Business Transformation Agency (BTA).
Siloed Information has proven to be the DOD’s biggest challenge while slowing in the modernization of the departments business systems as recorded by the Government Accountability Office. More than 3,000 disparate financial systems are replaced and/or connected to 12 ERP systems (Short for enterprise resource planning, a business management system that integrates all facets of the business, including planning, manufacturing, sales, and marketing. As the ERP methodology has become more popular, software applications have emerged to help business managers implement ERP in business activities such as inventory control, order tracking, customer service, finance and human resources.) with a spending allowance of one billion dollars annually. Countless interfaces require the connectivity of reconciliation errors within these governmental systems.
“It is clear, the future of information technology is inextricably tied to how well underrepresented students are prepared,” says Bob Reed, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at Cingular Wireless Systems, as reported by Mr. Fred Green Jr., NNPA Technology writer. “The path to success begins long before a potential employee completes a job application.”
This reporter’s collegiate study has spanned more than 10 years. Attending Philadelphia Community College, starting in the fall of 1996 with Management and Technical Studies and Berean Institute College of Business Administration and Computer Science in Philadelphia PA, Accredited By: The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology, etc. The later institution is an “HBCU”(Historic Black Colleges and Universities).
A challenge was given to three HBCU Campuses. The three historic colleges were Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA; North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C.; and Florida University in Tallahassee. The business students of the three campuses were charged with the development, implementation, and marketing plan to reach their campus peers and faculty membership. Cingular Wireless Systems made this challenge, says Mr. Green. The rewards are scholarships, grants, and company products. Cingular’s challenge provides an opportunity for the business students to present their abilities to show capable balance and theory with teamwork concepts as well as individual creativity. (The challenge results are to be announced at a later date).
Employers are constantly seeking new skills, training, and learning. Why is it so difficult for IT and BI (Information Technology and Business Intelligence) students to acquire the sought after jobs and career paths that they seek? (Especially within the government agencies!) Why are entry-level positions of employment riddled with red tape when it’s obvious that applicants have the skills and abilities to perform IT tasks and responsibilities?
An IT Labor Shortage? Please!
IT skilled laborers tend to not have their skills on idle format. They, (we), need to keep up with the information trends and changes. We are constantly encouraged to continue educational pursuits even while the costs have risen to unreachable heights for the average person. We are encouraged to build and maintain on-line profiles and resumes’ that will attract employer viewings. We are encouraged to display our skills and talents on the Internet, only to have them scrutinized, ridiculed, disrespected, misread, and misunderstood. Our competition is not of our country and yet we are constantly encouraged while being discouraged from attaining the goals of our government – “The American Dream!”
The competition constantly nurtures it’s home grown (and not home grown – but – returned home) trained and competent talents that places their IT productions to greater heights! That particular talent (in most cases) does not endure the pressures of financial stress, not to mention medicals, with the knowledge that the nurtured talent is intending to serve the government to which it calls home…motherland: for at least one to two years. The competition looks back at us and smiles. The competition grows with the changing technology trends and changes while we sit and scream “IT Workforce Shortage!”
The competition goes home with the trophy and we are sixth and seventh place in the world competition IT and BI platform(s). Take a look at the Beta Max, VCR, Home Computer(s), Electronics, etc. Is it not time for us to ride high in the saddle, to be first, to lead? We did it with the Presidency, didn’t we? So why can’t we find a way to fill the “IT Workforce Shortage” and utilize all of our talent…throughout the Land of the Free…the Home of the Brave? Inclusion is the only way to complete and utter freedom and release from our technological binds. We do not have to settle for runner-up, either!
Are employers viewing your web site, profile(s)? Are they drawing the wrong conclusions? Is the employed contractor/vendor adept to the current challenges of the IT World and it’s technologies? Is the investigator capable of understanding simple IT Language and its meanings and symbols? Or is it once again “Big Brother” announcing who’s really in control?
What’s on your web site?
Til next time.