Panel helps students become tech savvy

By Dylan Reynolds

As a part of “Tech Week,” a panel discussion was held in the College of Business Administration (CBA) yesterday to inform students about current trends and corporate culture in information technology (IT).

The panelists included three northeast Ohio chief information officers (CIOs): Sandy Rapp from Timken; Sherry Neubert from Goodyear; and Kathy Golden from OEConnection.

The three CIOs answered questions about the IT field posed by moderator Patrick Antos, an industry professional. After the panelists introduced themselves, Antos asked them to give tips for career readiness.

Neubert suggested that students broaden their overall business knowledge while in college. Golden emphasized that attendees should be customer-oriented when they enter the workplace. Rapp said that students should work on project management skills and the ability to sell their ideas.

Then, the topic turned to current trends in the IT field. According to the CIOs, this is an exciting era in the field. Rapp said the U.S. will see more jobs coming back due to cybersecurity measures. Neubert added that the “sharing economy” — companies such as Uber and Airbnb — are creating a need for new innovations in IT.

After Antos finished his set of questions, he allowed the audience to join in the questioning.  One student asked the panel if millennials are driving change in the IT field. Golden replied that they are, primarily in affecting where IT operations open up. She said that companies want to attract young talent, and the majority of young talent prefers to work in urban areas.

At the end, attendees could network with the panelists and eat some of the free pizza and cookies on the side table.