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Educational Changes in the Field of Information Technology
As the information technology industry has grown, so have the related educational opportunities. Educational curriculum isn't always the best gauge of industry changes within a particular field, although the rules which make that fact a plainly evident reality for most industries rarely apply in the modern world of information technology. In fact, unlike disciplines such as medicine, the very nature of the current IT industry promotes the idea that advancements in technology are only truly valid and successful when they are recognized and widely accepted by all. For this reason, IT curriculum is often on the heels of the latest developments, with competition among educational providers also helping to spur the cutting edge component of the coursework. Lately, another trend is beginning to emerge, with more universities offering specializations in the field of IT. While IT and computer science related programs with specializations are becoming more commonplace than ever, the marriage of IT and education was not always such a happy, fruitful union.
Not long ago, computer science curriculum could be summed up in two phrases: network administration and programming. Large scale hardware and software IT implementations were performed by technicians certified by Cisco or Microsoft. These were the certifications one sought after they graduated from college but before attempting to find employment. Now, with the implementation and operation of server based intranet systems having long ago been de-mystified, most IT professionals are going from cap and gown to business casual with few if any stops along the way. The reason this is possible has a lot to do with changes in the educational system's view of information technology.
Most institutions are moving toward a diverse curriculum that incorporates IT fundamentals with an emphasis on a particular area of specialization. Educational institutions are reacting to the needs of employers in the job market. From the implementation of infrastructures to systems security, an area of study that once might have had a course or two devoted to it now comprises an entire degree program. The result of these changes in the educational landscape regarding IT is indeed a direct reflection of changes in the workplace. As alterations to the structure of IT management have occurred, so have evolutions in the way IT personnel are educated and trained.