What is the Academy of Information Technology?
The Academy of Information Technology (AOIT) introduces students to the broad career opportunities in today's digital workforce and, in the process, equips them with the personal, analytical, technical and communications skills they need to thrive. A member program of the National Academy Foundation (NAF), the Academy of Information Technology operates as a "school within a school" and is located in more than 90 high schools nationwide.
The AOIT was started under the leadership Lucent Technologies to develop and support a systemic solution to the digital workforce challenge. To date the following companies have joined in this effort by by pledging more than 8 million dollars toward the program. They include: AT&T, Computer Associates, Verizon, United Technologies, Oracle and Compaq.
Although the well-publicized bursting of the dot-com bubble led to diminished demand in the field of information technology, growth continues. And amid layoffs in tech-heavy businesses, it is worth noting that 90% of IT jobs are in non-tech companies, and that more than 10.5 million are employed in the field, where spending has risen 75% since 1992. Indeed, a study conducted by the Information Technology Association of America in April 2001 showed nearly half a million unfilled IT jobs in the U.S. - and a persistent "skills gap" that was keeping these positions from being filled. Technical support positions represent the largest growth area within the IT sector, with programmers, database administrators, web administrators and EIS specialists in demand.
Meeting the Needs
Despite a volatile economy, information technology is everywhere, and the need for education to bridge the digital divide is more critical than ever. The Academy of Information Technology helps meet this need by preparing high school students for successful careers in information technology. Through their Academy experience, students gain an understanding of the connections that exist between their education and the workplace. Academy teachers and industry mentors provide students with the curriculum and guidance necessary for rewarding careers. In particular, the Academy's focus on math and science emphasizes what's needed for a concentration in information technology.