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Employers complain that their new IT workers graduate from college without real-world know-how. But what is IT, and how do you teach it? There are no signs that the information technology field will ever stop changing. Consequently, every IT program in Florida's public universities is truly a work in progress. What is new in these degree programs is the realization that their transformation is inevitable, and that it must be closely and continually coordinated with the local community's needs. Will these programs' practical, real-world orientation prompt more traditional programs, such as computer science, to become more employer-oriented? Or, instead, will those traditional programs become more theoretical, freed by the IT programs from vocational concerns'? If Florida's diverse experience so far is any indication, we will most likely see both outcomes, and perhaps some others as well.
Date of Publication: Sept.-Oct. 2003