Last year, Creating IT Futures Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the global technology trade association CompTIA, awarded NOVA a $20,000 grant to study the navigational tools that Information Technology (IT) workers (or prospective IT workers) require to advance their careers in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector. Last fall, NOVA, in partnership with San Jose State University’s Anthropology Department and the Boston-based Economic Advancement Research Institute, embarked on a research project that entailed surveying over 100 ICT professionals and qualitative interviews to determine the strategies these individuals employed to remain relevant in their careers. In April, a report of the study’s findings titled, "Bridge to Career Success" was released and is now available for review. Highlights of the findings include:
- Technical skills are important but without career navigational skills they cannot be effectively applied and used to advance workers’ careers.
- Career navigators possess the following core characteristics: attitude consisting of a combination of healthy self-esteem and humility; personal initiative; passion and curiosity; strong work ethic; teamwork; and flexibility and adaptability.
- Successful career navigators engage in five key activities: networking; organizational reading; self-awareness; relationship management; and mentorship.
These findings are applicable not only for the ICT sector but for other industry sectors as well. NOVA will be disseminating this information to its customers and incorporating the “lessons learned” into the workshops and other services offered at the Job Center.
This project is part of NOVA’s TechLadder initiative, launched two years ago, to promote access and advancement for workers in the high-wage and growing ICT industry cluster.