DMACC and Major Local Employers Address IT Worker Shortage

Number of graduates not keeping up with new job openings.

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) and top IT employers are teaming up to address the shortage of Information Technology workers in Central Iowa. The new collaboration, called the DMACC – IT Industry Partnership Board, will provide a new vision and strategies for generating more IT graduates.

“We’re facing an overall shortage of IT workers and a greater scarcity of specific IT skill sets such as application development,” said Doug Cretsinger, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of GuideOne Insurance. “IT workers impact every facet of Fortune 500 companies and local main street businesses. Expanding the pool of IT talent is important to the growth and economic health of Central Iowa.”

It’s projected for Central Iowa there will be nearly 4,000 new IT job openings in the next eight years – double the growth of other occupations. Some specific IT jobs with the most growth include Computer Systems Analyst, Software Application Developer and Information Security Analyst.

According to the latest Technology Association of Iowa survey, IT professionals can start at $50,000 a year with a two-year degree and they have many career advancement opportunities.

The DMACC – IT Industry Partnership Board is made up of a “who’s who” of local employers including Nationwide Insurance, the Principal Financial Group, IBM, Shazam, Workiva, Alliance Technologies, GuideOne Insurance, Farmers Mutual Hail and Keyot. As a first step of the initiative, DMACC is reorganizing its IT program to better align graduates to the needs of Central Iowa employers.

“DMACC is responding to the critical need of educating and training more IT workers,” said Rob Denson, President of DMACC. “Our internal changes and external collaboration with businesses will ensure there will be more IT graduates to power economic growth,” said Denson.

He also noted that DMACC graduates have business-ready skills to make a work-place contribution on their first day. “Ninety-six percent of our graduates live and work in Central Iowa,” said Denson.

Some specific initiatives of the new DMACC IT Industry Partnership Board include:

  • Reorganize and better define DMACC’s IT program to improve student retention. That includes identifying new common core courses that all IT students need, identifying and eliminating courses that overlap and integrating additional advanced industry certifications. This reorganization also involves DMACC’s two IT Pathway Navigators who will work with current and prospective students, supporting them through program completion.
  • Create a $200,000 IT Scholars Program. With public and private support, select DMACC IT students will get paid for internships that offer on-the-job experience and perhaps a path into full-time employment.
  • Work with the Technology Association of Iowa to launch a new IT Apprenticeship Program.
  • Launch a new IT marketing initiative across Central Iowa that starts with research to better determine the interests and aptitude of prospective students.

IT programs are offered at all three DMACC campuses; Ankeny, West Des Moines, and Urban –

Des Moines. For students interested in an IT Career please contact either of DMACC’s

IT Pathway Navigators:
Teresa Tripp                                                 Silas Hanneman
Office: 515-633-2416                                  Office:  515-964-6614
tmtripp1@dmacc.edu                                  swhanneman@dmacc.edu

For information contact: Todd Jones, Marketing & Public Relations, (515) 964-6242

About DMACC

Des Moines Area Community College, a public institution serving the educational and career training needs of Iowans, is committed to the lifelong success of its students. As Iowa’s largest two-year college, DMACC offers 167 programs, certificates and transfer degrees, annually serving nearly 75,000 credit and noncredit students on six campuses and in five learning centers. Thanks to college-wide innovation, new programs and affordable tuition, DMACC has experienced record growth and is the 15th fastest growing two-year college in America. For more information, please visit www.dmacc.edu.