Back To School: Funding An Ongoing Education

In IT, skill sets can become outdated in a matter of months. To stay current, IT education must be an ongoing process — which can mean continual tuition and exam fees for techies. How can IT pros plan to pay for their never-ending skills development?

An IT education differs from other types because it is necessarily ongoing — students in IT or an IT-related field start by assembling a skill set that will quickly become outdated, and they must stay current. IT professionals remain lifelong students of technology, maintaining a continuous education through various means, with certification being one. Therefore, IT professionals have to be able to finance not only the establishment, but also the extension, of such an education.

Mladen Vouk, computer science professor and department head and information technology associate vice provost at North Carolina State University, said the college goes to great lengths to impress upon students that their IT education will be ongoing.

“That’s the first thing out of the instructors’ and advisers’ mouths when the students walk in,” Vouk said. “The advisers always tell them, ‘Welcome, it’s great to see you. Please remember the one thing we are trying to teach you is how to update yourself and your knowledge because IT knowledge has a limited shelf life, and you have to continually keep upgrading yourself.’ It’s not like math or some other thing where you can learn something and then reuse it and hone it — you really have to keep up with…

Daniel Margolis


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