National Convergence Technology Center
What is Convergence Technology?
Convergence Technology Is . . .
- The blending or integration of voice, video, and data into a single but flexible global communications network.
- The merging together of products and capabilities of multiple vendors to create an integrated solution for the customer.
If you are interested in convergence technology, there are several programs and areas of study that you may consider getting a degree in.
- Information Technology
- Computer Networking/Network Administrator
- IT Security/Cybersecurity
- Computer Support Specialist
- Computer Information Systems
There is a clear growing need in the workforce for convergence-IT workers:
- The U.S. Department of Labor reports that by 2020, the U.S., Europe, China, Japan, and India will together face a 35 million shortfall of convergence-IT workers. The U.S. alone will need 1.5 million additional skilled convergence-IT professionals in 2013.
- The Bay Area Council's Economic Institute reported in December 2012 that since 2004, the high-tech sector's job growth has outpaced the private sector by 3 to 1. Further, the unemployment rate for the high-tech sector is consistently lower than the rate of the nation as a whole.
- When Computerworld’s Salary Survey 2013 surveyed 600+ IT managers expecting to hire more workers in the next 12 months and asked what skills they would be seeking, 28% named network administration, 24% named networking, 21% named cloud computing, and 15% named virtualization.
- A December 2012 study by Digital Universe estimates that by 2020, companies will need ten times more virtual storage than they currently own. This works out to be about 5200Gb of data for every person on the planet and suggests future convergence-IT workers will have plenty to do managing and securing all of that networked information.
- A December 2012 report from BATEC (Broadening Advanced Technological and Educational Connections) references government statistics that projects a 22% growth in computing and mathematical occupations from 2010-2020. This translates to 75,000 new jobs a year.
- Texas ranks second in the nation in high-tech employment, according to a 2013 report from TechAmerica Foundation. Texas added 10,000 high-tech jobs between 2011 and 2011. Only California added more.
- Surveys conducted in 2013 with over 2,300 Chief Information Officers across 23 major metro areas conducted by Robert Half Technology reveal that 52% of CIOs believe network administration is the skill set in greatest demand.
- A study by TechServe Alliance reports that as of July 2013, IT employment grew by 5.71% over the previous twelve months, adding almost 241,700 workers nationwide to that job market.
- Dice.com, an IT/engineering career website, reports that the word “cloud” hit an all-time high in its August 2013 job postings, topping 5000 mentions. That’s up 32% from a year prior, underscoring the expanding market demand for cloud-based services.
And with that growing demand comes higher wages:
- A study by Georgetown University's Center of Education and the Workforce and Civic Enterprises lists the top ten highest-paying jobs that don't require a traditional 4-year degree. Two of the ten are convergence-IT-related. Specifically, Georgetown estimates that computer network architects earn an average of $79,000 a year and computer/IT managers an average of $78,000 a year.
- The December 2012 study by the Bay Area Council's Economic Institute further reports that workers in high-tech jobs earn a wage premium of 17-25% more than workers in other fields.
- Computerworld's Salary Survey 2013 also states that an IT professional's average salary went up 2.3% in 2013, an increase over both 2012’s 2.1% and 2011’s 1.5% increase. In addition, 2013 bonuses increased 0.9% on average, a big swing from 2012’s 1.1% decrease.
- Payscale.com ranks “Information Technology” among the top 40 college majors with an estimated starting salary of $48,900 and mid-career salary of $81,700.
- The National CTC conducts yearly phone survey of north Texas businesses, asking what they might pay newly hired convergence-IT professionals. Over the last two years, those with a certificate were projected to be hired at an average salary between $41,250 and $58,300, while those with a two-year degree would be hired at an average salary between $46,700 and $64,100.
- InterLink, a regional workforce research center, identified “Computer Network Architect” and “Information Security Analyst” as “Emerging Occupations” in North Texas with an average entry level pay of $21.34/hour. That goes up to an average of $38.11/hour for experienced workers.
- TechAmerica Foundation’s 2013 “Cyberstates” report finds that Texas technology workers earn an average of $92,200, which is 85% higher than Texas’ average private sector wage.
How CTC can help
It's the National CTC's job to make sure the skills convergence-IT programs teach are the same skills that will get students hired. This is accomplished by:
- Offering professional development training for convergence instructors to insure they can teach current, emerging topics
- Assessing real-time hiring needs of IT industry leaders to insure the skills that gets students hired are the skills being taught
- Encouraging relationships between colleges and businesses to create more internship and hiring opportunities
- Developing "open source" convergence curriculum that any college can implement, making it easier for more schools to teach more students
- Creating articulation agreements to help two-year graduates transfer to four-year universities to pursue Bachelor's degrees
- Piloting an innovative expansion of "virtual labs" that allow students to do convergence lab work with only an internet connections and a web browser
- Finding ways to better attract under-served populations (e.g. women and ethnic minorities) to IT careers
Find Convergence Technology programs
Click on our Program Finder link to see a map and listing of the colleges and universities with Convergence Technology, Networking and Information Technology programs receiving support from the CTC.