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#NUforNE: Supporting the Tech Revolution | News

#NUforNE: Supporting the Tech Revolution | News


About the #NUforNE series: This article is part of the University of Nebraska’s #NUforNE series. #NUforNE features students, faculty, staff, and alumni across the university who are making an impact in Nebraska.

A technology revolution is here. Across the country, employers are reorganizing their workforces to meet new needs and goals. Most of them are related to technology. Companies are hiring more workers with technical expertise to support strategy and innovation.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that computer and math jobs will grow at the second fastest rate of any other sector over the next decade. During that same period, data scientists and information security analysts were among his top ten fastest-growing occupations, and software developers were his third-largest job increase among all occupations. is estimated to result in

Business leaders across Nebraska are looking to increase the state’s technological prowess.

Nebraska Chamber of Commerce President Brian Sloan said: “We need to be known as a tech nation.”

But Nebraska is facing a labor crisis and doesn’t have enough workers.

This is where the University of Nebraska-Omaha steps in. It is the only metropolitan university in the state and works with business partners in Nebraska’s largest city. The Institute of Information Science and Technology (IS&T) educates students in computer science, cybersecurity, information systems, data analysis, and other technical fields. IS&T works closely with Omaha businesses to recruit students for full-time and internship positions, filling the skilled workforce pipeline with UNO graduates.

From Scholarships to Internships

Dr. Martha Garcia-Murillo is Dean of the University of Information Science and Technology. She exudes a calm, strong presence and a passion for college students.

Garcia-Murillo holds a PhD in Economics and Political Economy from the University of Southern California.

when she was applying for her Ph.D. At USC, her family, who provided her childcare, saw her filling out her scholarship papers. They told her, “Martha, if you don’t get a scholarship, we’ll fund you.” The family eventually paid for her first graduate school and had a huge impact on Garcia-Murillo.

She is currently focused on providing scholarships for IS&T students.

“I think it’s important to be able to offer scholarship opportunities to students.It can make a big difference in the lives of students.It was mine,” said García Murillo.

Many students in the Omaha community are financially disadvantaged or are the first in their family to attend college. Without scholarships, well-performing students may have to work to support themselves. If they work in a retail restaurant or coffee shop, internship opportunities to lead projects, join professional organizations, and build a good resume are diminished.

“We want IT jobs to replace non-IT jobs,” says Garcia-Murillo. “When they graduate, they should graduate with a resume that will help them get the best jobs.”

Garcia-Murillo focuses on the experience of building a student’s professional portfolio. She developed her own program, Learn and Earn. This program allows an IS&T student to gain her four years of work experience while in college.

First-year students take a one-credit class, where they participate in three job shadows. In her second year, from 5 hours she participates in a micro-internship, a paid short-term project of 35 hours. 3rd year and her 4th year paying internships.

My goal is to create a learning community for all IS&T students,” said Garcia-Murillo. “Learn and Earn enables us to make experiential opportunities available to everyone.”

Dr. Levi Thiele, Director of Career Development at UNO, is excited about Learn to Earn. This, she explains, is a combination of her career-oriented curriculum, employer-based experiential learning, and financial support.

“Students ‘learn’ through preparation for a successful career. They “earn” rewards for their work, improving equity and access to experiential learning opportunities,” she said.

Experiential learning brings change to the real world

Experiential learning is the process of learning by doing. By engaging IS&T students in hands-on experience and reflection, they will be able to connect the theory and knowledge they learn in the classroom to real-world situations.

“We prepare our students to become independent thinkers, professional thinkers, leaders, discerning and good judges,” said Garcia-Murillo. rice field.

Job shadowing, micro-internships, and internships familiarize students with businesses in the Omaha area.

“If you graduate students with real-world experience, they are more likely to be integrated into the local economy if they come across local businesses and projects,” says Garcia-Murillo.

The university conducted a survey asking, “Which company would you like to work for after graduating?” to the students who attended the first-year seminar class. More than 100 students answered the questions, but she was able to identify only 10 of the Nebraska businesses.

“Employers are concerned about students leaving Nebraska, but many students don’t really understand the opportunities they have here,” says Garcia-Murillo. “Everything we’re building at the university is aimed at getting them established in Nebraska and getting them in touch with more businesses.”

Responding to the Mission of Metropolitan University

UNO is a metropolitan university. The majority of students come from non-traditional backgrounds. Many people support their families.

“Our student body comes from underserved communities with little financial support,” said Dr. Joanne Li, President of UNO.

A college degree not only makes a difference for IS&T graduates, but also for their families and communities. After graduation, 78% of his IS&T graduates are employed in their respective fields of study, and he earns a median salary of $75,000.

UNO’s values ​​of strengthening communities and improving the quality of life in Omaha through collaboration and partnership are at the heart of IS&T’s Learn and Earn.

“Technology fields are promising in many ways for underprivileged students. Get. “There are ripple effects beyond individuals and their jobs.”

“The Learn and Earn program meets three of UNO’s strategic goals: student success, workforce development and social mobility,” said Thiele.

“Martha Garcia Murillo and the team at IS&T are visionaries. They purposefully and thoughtfully built the Learn and Earn program to meet the needs of our students and employees.”




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