In 2003, the ATE National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies (NWCET) developed and published the "Building a Foundation for Tomorrow: Skill Standards for Information Technology." This document has not been updated since 2003, and it no longer aligns with current information technology (IT) industry needs. This project will develop a new employer-led and verified IT Skill Standards document for the top eight to ten IT industry job clusters supporting positions requiring a two-year or a four-year applied IT degree. Initial discussions with industry experts have identified at least four new job clusters that did not exist in 2003, along with an additional five to six job clusters that need to be updated. Skill standards make IT careers more accessible as they provide transparency regarding the knowledge, skills and performance standards needed for success in the industry, and educators use skill standards to develop relevant curricular materials to better prepare students for the workplace.
This project will develop a future-facing set of IT Skill Standards for the most critical IT job clusters, led by employer subject matter experts. In addition to creating a set of skill standards for each job cluster, the standards within each job cluster will be stratified by the top four to eight critical work functions. For each cluster, a national group of educators and Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT) members will determine which portions of the standards apply to two-year and four-year programs, to facilitate ease of use in development of employer-aligned curriculum. These stratifications will assist both employers and educators to apply the standards more easily. Subject matter experts will be asked to predict trends in IT and the knowledge and skills that will likely to be needed to support emerging trends. It is expected that this effort will increase the use and longevity of the developed standards.