A Canadian IT recruiter may be able to get an early look at the next generation of IT industry talent by setting up an awards program at Ryerson University’s Information Technology Management program.

The school

recently handed out the first annual CNC Global Awards, worth $500, to the male and female students who achieved the top grades in Ryerson’s Management Change course. According to Terry Power, chief operating officer at Toronto-based CNC Global, the IT staffing services firm was attracted to mix of skill sets offered by the Information Technology Management (ITM) program, which he said answer the needs voiced by many CNC Global clients.

“”It’s something that the educational institutions have to wrap their heads around,”” he said. “”It’s a problem that’s only going to be solved by post-secondary schools combining the technology sector with business.””

James Norrie, director of the ITM faculty at Ryerson, said the program’s curriculum was inspired by similar courses offered by educational institutions in the United States and Australia.

“”Computer scientists create technology — engineers take it and embed it, but there was nobody was taking those products and creating complete solutions,”” he said. “”The consistent theme appears to be (that companies need) people who can understand the business process and enable it with technology.””

The ITM program allows students to pursue a bachelor of commerce degree. While there is a deep focus on IT, he said some students pursue minors in marketing or accounting that will give them more to offer the market.

“”I think it equips them better for their career than their first job,”” he said. “”It’s like a lifetime licence to be a critical thinker. Businesses really pay for people who solve problems. Our graduates might find their way into project management, business analyst roles. They may start on a help desk and find out where they want to move from there.””

CNC Global noticed that the program also achieved a greater gender balance than what’s usually found in IT-related education, Power said.

“”We wanted to recognize need to encourage more women. With the business element that exists there, it tends to be a little more attractive to them as well.””

Norrie agreed, describing typical ITM applications as business students who are technically curious.

“”If you asked them what they planned to do, they would probably identify a line of business or technology leadership role, but probably couldn’t be precise,”” he said. “”A number of them working in marketing, which is incredibly technology dependent. “”

Besides CNC Global, Norrie said Ryerson is also in close partnership with IBM, setting up student placement opportunities and getting a better sense of vendors’ hiring needs.

Comment: info@itbusiness.ca

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