The Information Technology (I.T.) industry isn’t just about cyber-security or keeping your business’ computer network functioning: local students are learning it’s a wide-open career path and a vital part of the production process.
“I.T. has kind of creeped its way into all different avenues,” said Rock Valley College Computer and Information Systems professor, Chuck Konkol.
Rock Valley College held its 3rd annual “Tech Expo” recently on campus, which gives students the benefit of possible career options and also puts them in touch with potential employers.
Companies are able to use the expo to connect with and learn about the students who could some day work for them.
“Making a connection, it shows who you are and also, it gives you the capability of sharing what skills you have to offer,” said Russell Dulaney, owner of Dulaney Drafting and Design.
Dulaney’s business focuses on 3-D printing, and he says it’s a challenge finding workers with the right skills.
“It’s a big struggle, actually,” Dulaney said. “It’s hard to find somebody who is good at 3-D design, understanding the different manufacturing principles. 3-D printing, there’s many different factors involved in that, a lot of things that you would have to understand. So, having the different skill sets, yes, could be a challenge finding somebody that has all of that.”
RVC’s CIS department wants students to know there are opportunities for I.T. professionals in non-typical industries, like truck driving.
“And so, not only those that drive the vehicle need to be aware of some of the technical skills needed, but we’re going to need even more programmers to program those devices,” Konkol said. “Autonomous driving is one, manufacturing with robotics is one. By 2034, I believe it’s something like 64% of jobs currently are going to be automated with robotics and coding. So, those type of skills are going to be needed.”
“I would say we’re on the cutting edge of technology,” Dulaney said.
Employment organizations were also a part of the RVC Tech Expo, to help students with things like resume building, networking, and internships.