SN Vol 34 #3 2979 How To Find And Keep Academic IT Pros

SN Vol 34 #3 2979 How To Find And Keep Academic IT Pros

Post by John J. McLaughl » Fri, 22 Dec 2000 14:45:59

2979 How To Find And Keep Academic IT Pros

        Recruiting and retaining skilled programmers, developers and
        other IT professionals presents a formidable challenge in
        academia, which rarely can ante up the financial incentives
        that private industry does. Why would computing specialists
        who can write their own tickets at any number of high-tech
        companies opt for lower-paying jobs for colleges and

        The issue came up at the recent Java-in-Administration Special
        Interest Group (JA-SIG) conference, but the ideas aired apply
        to the entire IT operation.

        Marketing the appeal of the academic lifestyle is one good
        option. Advantages that academia offers cover a broad
        spectrum, from less stress and longer vacations to more
        flexible hours and greater opportunity to work on cutting-edge
        projects. Also, academic IT environments tend to foster a more
        open, collaborative approach to work than the highly
        competitive commercial world of computing.

        Managers in college and university IT departments also may be
        better equipped than their corporate counterparts to let
        employees focus on the kind of work they enjoy, accommodating
        those who like debugging, writing code, developing specs, or
        whatever the preference. Employees engaged in what they enjoy,
        and energized by regular infusions of new and exciting
        projects, are less likely to answer the lure of higher-paying
        but more-confining corporate worklife.

        Academic IT, of course, also may be able to negotiate with
        other departments in the institution to give academic credits
        related to job performance, service milestones, and other
        factors. The IT department may even work with the school's
        human resources department to increase IT staff salaries to be
        more competitive with the outside world.

        Looking beyond the traditional labor market offers a multitude
        of opportunities. Academic IT operations might find good
        candidates, for example, by targeting:

           - Those outplaced by downsized companies or failed dot-com
             organizations, or those worn out by the stress of
             corporate IT

           - People unwilling or unable to commit to endless,
             unpredictable hours, or those who value a balanced
             home-work life, such as working mothers

           - Semi-retired and other mature people who appreciate the
             flexibility and other benefits of working in academia

           - Younger developers who have fewer responsibilities and
             thus may be willing to work longer hours

           - The student pipeline, which may have produced
             well-qualified workers who interned in the institution's
             IT environment

           - Students from other countries, who may be excellent
             candidates for jobs where language skills are not crucial

           - Liberal Arts majors; additional training may be
             necessary, but some research suggests that music and art
             students may have an aptitude for programming and an
             interest in pursuing promising careers in IT

           - Off-site workers; many programming or development jobs
             can be performed remotely, so staff don't necessarily
             have to live close to campus

        Some school policies prohibit academic IT managers from paying
        their own staff for extra work done (e.g., short-term projects
        done in a person's own time), but managers from different
        institutions can collaborate to offer such work to members of
        another school's staff. Such collaboration can be informal, or
        structured into some type of "job shop" or "job swap" that
        helps connect qualified contractors -- with assignments that
        suit their career interests.

To subscribe to the free, weekly, Email newsletter, "System News for Sun
Users", fill in the request form at or send

Specify text, PDF, all or web links.

(c) 2000 System News, Inc.


1. SN Vol 34 #3 2976 Authorized Sun Education Center Academic Initiative

2976 Authorized Sun Education Center Academic Initiative

        With support from Sun's Global Education and Research
        Computing sales group, Sun Educational Services launched the
        Authorized Sun Education Center Academic Initiative (ASEC-AI)
        earlier in 2000. This program authorizes colleges and
        universities to deliver a core set of Sun technology courses
        for Java, Solaris, and StarOffice. In designing the academic
        initiative, Sun seeks to create a collaborative relationship
        with academic institutions and provide courses in Sun
        technologies to the next generation of information technology
        professionals and innovators. The program course offerings
        enable students to pursue certifications as Sun Certified
        Programmer for the Java Platform, and Sun Certified System
        Administrator for Solaris.

        The program is complemented by the Sun Web Learning Center,
        which provides academic institutions free access to online
        introductory courses.


        This gives students a good understanding of the fundamentals
        driving many of today's leading technologies, including Java,
        Jini, Solaris, and StarOffice.

        Working with Java technology represents both a cultural and a
        technical change from a mainframe environment; it takes a
        different mindset.

To subscribe to the free, weekly, Email newsletter, "System News for Sun
Users", fill in the request form at or send

Specify text, PDF, all or web links.

(c) 2000 System News, Inc.

2. need

3. SN Vol 34 #4 2998 PyBiz Announces Free Evaluation Of XDisect

4. Perl/mysql question

5. SN Vol 34 #4 2996 AltaVista Search Engine 3.0 Supports Java

6. Mocking Board

7. SN Vol 34 #4 2991 Timbale Version 1.2 From Marimba

8. Minix for 386 protected mode

9. SN Vol 34 #4 2992 Emulex Receives Solaris Ready Certification

10. SN Vol 34 #4 2990 Paladyne's Datagration E-Business Suite 2.0

11. SN Vol 34 #4 2989 REM-Mail (IN) & REM-Mail (OUT) From Remedy

12. SN Vol 34 #4 2981 Wind River SNiFF+ 4.0 Source Code Analysis Environment

13. SN Vol 34 #4 2980 Oracle Ships Update To Oracle Internet File System