Training the Next Generation of IT Professionals

By Debra D'Agostino  |  Posted 2006-06-23 Print this article Print

Through strategic partnerships, nonprofit group Workforce Outsourcing Services is helping disadvantaged students launch careers in IT. (

Its a Tuesday afternoon, and a group of 14 students have gathered in the back room of a computer lab at Columbia University in New York City. Its a sociology class, and the focus of todays session is the science of learning. The atmosphere is casual and conversational, though slightly hesitant as class begins, so the professor prompts the students with a few pointed questions. Soon enough, students are chatting openly, discussing the benefits and drawbacks of cramming for exams, and sharing tricks for carving out time from their busy schedules to devote to studying.
At first glance, it seems like any ordinary college-level class. But this class isnt ordinary.
Learn the keys to successful management in Jeff Angus Management by Baseball, "the book Tom Peters wished hed written." Click here. It is the first group of students organized by WOS (Workforce Outsource Services), a nonprofit firm that is working to train and employ inner-city and disadvantaged students in IT positions at large and small businesses throughout the country. Founded in 2005, WOS is the brainchild of Dr. Arthur Langer, the instruction and curricular development chairman of Columbia Universitys Continuing Education Technology Programs, and a faculty member in the universitys Graduate School of Education. Langer conceived the program after completing a four-year study of New York Citys Housing and Urban Development Adult Education Program, which provides grants for low-level skills education in technology. Though the program originally aimed to give participants skills to help them find tech jobs, Langer concluded that technical training alone wouldnt be enough to prepare disadvantaged youth to compete in IT careers. "A lot of these young adults need a combination of training and study programs," says Langer. "We need to help them gain real business skills and training from a quality institution so they can effectively build their careers." Read the full story on Management: Training the Next Generation of IT Professionals Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on IT management from
Debra D'Agostino was part of the original team that launched CIO Insight in May 2001, and has held several positions during her tenure, serving first as copy chief, then senior reporter, and currently as online editor, overseeing content and strategy for Prior to joining Ziff Davis Media, her work focused largely on travel and leisure, and her articles have appeared in Consumer Reports' Travel Letter, The Elite Traveler, Agenda New York, Travel Agent, Westchester, Wine Enthusiast and USA Today, among others. At CIO Insight, she has twice been a finalist for American Business Media's Jesse H. Neal Award, and has received three national gold awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. She holds a bachelor of science in journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.

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