By Steve Wright, ICT-DM Sector Statewide Director
The 200,000 students and faculty of the ICT Sector are well accustomed to curriculum, classes, labs and certification testing that are completed in virtual and remote formats. The ICT sector team response to the pandemic campus closures will be to support the expanded scale and quality of remote learning, testing and job acquisition.
The ICT-DM Job Market
To address the matter of available jobs, our first call was to John Reed, Executive VP at Robert Half, specializing in IT technician and help desk placement nationwide, to inquire on the likely effect this crisis will have on the job market.
“It’s a topic I am sensitive to as I have a daughter who graduates in May,” Reed said. “My best advice right now is to not panic, realize that there will still be a demand for talented, hardworking employees that can bring creative problem solving to the table. Just be prepared to exercise a little more patience as a job seeker. Once we get on the other side of this, opportunities will open back up in a significant way as we anticipate pent up demand to open up. In the meantime, remain diligent in networking, applying for roles, following up with previous contacts and keeping your contact communications warm and consistent.”
As an initial sampling of the LMI, we take John’s response as a ‘stay the course’ and build value in your abilities and network type of strategy.
Remote Certification Testing
Students already on an IT path know the value of third-party certifications (Cisco, CompTIA, Microsoft and others). The sudden closure of the Pearson VUE testing centers sent us searching for the latest options in remote testing certification. Certification testing process expert Rachel Schoenig J.D. shares her insight and advice here. Also, we see all major IT and office- related certifications having remote testing alternatives in place. Many are extending the period of time vouchers may be used. See our list here for certifications that are relevant to you or your students.
Helping faculty convert to remote IT labs is something we have been doing for years. Since the introduction of the NETLAB product we have been hosting the NETLAB User Group where host Shawn Monsen has organized and archived the how to and shared capabilities on our NETLAB User Group website. In his article here he and Dr. Markus Geissler expand on the NETLAB capability for MS Office and other ICT software lab’s needs. Additional remote lab options from Practice Labs will be broadcast on our ICT Educator Webinar series this Friday. Past webinars for NETLAB and Practice Labs are available on our ICT Website as well.
Remote Teaching Help
Remote teaching tools and techniques are expertly addressed at the CCCCO website and the ICT Educator Webinar Series recently hosted Dr. Michelle Pacansky-Brock for “Humanizing Remote Instruction” to address the pedagogical intentional changes that the teacher needs to assume while engaging with diverse students online. Additionally, our prior webinar with Dr. Lance Ford details the 24×7 technologies that engage cell phone-equipped students to help each other in the remote learning environments.
In a time of crisis, you may need someone to call. Our ICT Regional Directors are available to help you find, convert or obtain the emergency ICT resources that you need. Please call your RD or Steve Wright (805-231-8444) and we will help you find the resources you need.
All the best