More than half of all IT-related jobs fall outside of the technology sector, which presents opportunities for students outside of urban centers to enter the ICT sector. Duane Rinehart, ICT-DM Regional Director in the San Diego/Imperial Region, outlined these opportunities in a recent presentation at the Imperial Valley Regional CTE Advisory Meeting.
Rinehart noted several new and hybrid subsectors where ICT career opportunities exist, including electronic medical records and telehealth in the healthcare sector and remote livestock monitoring and crop tracking in agriculture. Many of these positions are well-paying and offer remote work, which opens the doors to students in rural communities.
Rinehart said colleges in rural areas could promote these opportunities and programs that support technology integration into sectors like healthcare, agriculture, and advanced manufacturing. Students can also start their own businesses to bring entrepreneurship to rural areas and contribute to local economies.
“With the appropriate curriculum alignment between local needs and a community college, these challenges can be viewed as opportunities for entrepreneurs,” Rinehart said. “Youth who grew up on a farm can study ICT and launch a business that leverages IT skills to address farming needs.”
As technology continues to grow in the professional world and in smart homes and related technologies, Rinehart also emphasized that cybersecurity will become increasingly important. He recommends that colleges align curriculum to industry standards and that K-12 educators use cyber camps and competitions as a way to build interest in cybersecurity as a career field. For more information, contact Duane Rinehart at firstname.lastname@example.org.