This blog is a response to the following report from the Orlando Sentinel that states that the University of Central Florida will be cutting the five following programs:
- Cardiopulmonary Sciences
- Engineering Technology
- Management Information Systems
- Actuarial Sciences
Now for my rant. Having received my undergrad in MIS, this is mostly targeted at the university cutting the MIS program, which struck a chord with me. :)
Here is what I am having trouble understanding: How can a university cut a program that is in such high demand for people when they graduate? Granted, it is a bit more difficult to get a job these days with no experience than it was in 1998 when I graduated, but jobs are still out there for quality people who want to work hard.
According to the university's President in the video posted below, students that have decided to major in one of these programs have been given two years to:
- complete their degree
- change their major
- move to another college
Two years? Are you serious? Why not four years to allow time for the freshmen to complete the degree that they are paying for? How arrogant and short sighted can an administration be? The victims here are the students who have made a commitment to the university.
Something that's been happening a lot lately (and a lot of the people I work with are being affected) is the off shoring of jobs to India, China, and Eastern Europe where labor is cheaper and almost everyone employed in the IT industry have bachelors degrees (many have masters). What I am afraid of is that if universities cut these programs then companies will be forced to offshore IT jobs because there will not be enough people coming into the industry to support the ever growing demand for IT people. Not that this is a possibility, but who would have ever thought that a respectable university such as UCF would cut programs such as MIS? (Disclaimer: I do support off shoring of the right projects in the right circumstances, but the stars do need to align to be successful.)
I wanted to do this blog to bring an awareness to this and support of my future colleagues who are caught up in this mess (specifically, the UCF students that are majoring in one of these degree programs). You should know that someone in the real world sees what's happening and is as disgusted as you. As you move on with your degree, here are a few things that helped me out that I would like to share with you:
- Go to career fairs and talk to potential employers as soon as possible, it's NEVER too early.
- Try to get an internship. Some of you have only two years to complete your degree and this might not be applicable. For those of you who are moving on, this can help you tremendously and will give you an edge over the competition once you graduate.
- Study hard and try to understand the stuff that seems dumb to learn. Here's what happened to me...I never knew why anyone would want to take a software architecture class. I thought it was dumb and a waste of time when I was taking the class as I knew I was a coder and I wanted to write code. Any guesses as to what I do all day, every day? Software architecture! Good thing I listened in class! :)
- Support each other. The people that you are in class now will eventually have jobs and then work their way into management at a company. Make and keep those contacts. You never know where you'll run into these people once you hit the working world.
- Have fun, enjoy college. There are a lot of social functions that you should be attending...despite what you hear, it will help you later in life. :)
Announcement from the university:
Message from UCF President John Hitt: