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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Tech Skills Crucial to Any Career, Students Say

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A recent IBM Academic Initiative survey found that 80 percent of 1,600 college students polled agreed that high-technology skills will help them succeed, and a majority expect to have to master new technologies while in the workforce. More than 50 percent of the students said they plan to improve their technology skills before they graduate, with technology being the top skill that students want to pursue, followed by writing and marketing skills.

"The survey results show that students understand they need the ability to leverage technology for their employers across many careers," says IBM's Mark Hanny. "Students are realizing they can benefit in specific industries such as healthcare or energy if they are tech-savvy."

Hanny says that many companies want employees with a broad knowledge base that can be applied across the business, as well as a deep understanding of their specific field. These workforce demands are inspiring universities to offer interdisciplinary courses in engineering, computer science, and business schools, among others. "Studying IT and technology in a broader sense is the right approach; it helps students understand how technology is applied to various businesses to help streamline operations," Hanny says. "IT is being embraced by students as a core competency across many professions and no longer considered a narrow, specialized skill set."

From Network World
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