Each May, the National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) convenes its Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT) to prioritize the essential entry-level IT job skills students and graduates will need to know in the next 12-36 months. The BILT always looks ahead, answering “what’s next?” rather than “what’s happening now?” because higher education curriculum development can proceed slowly.
While most quarterly BILT meetings run 90 minutes, the May meeting runs closer to four hours. The BILT members work through the previous year’s KSA (knowledge, skills, and abilities – though the list also now includes tasks) list line by line, ranking each item on a scale of 1 to 4 – a “1” vote means that item can be discarded from curriculum and a “4” means that item must be included in curriculum. After the vote, BILT members discuss and debate as needed both the voting results as well as the wording of each KSA item. The KSA list is considered a living document; multiple changes each year are common. By comparing this employer-led skills list to course content, educators ensure curriculum aligns with workforce needs.
This updated list – 22 tasks, 86 knowledge areas, 69 skills, 25 abilities, and 7 certifications – is available now for free at the CTC’s website as a PDF or Excel file. You can also download a Word document with specific directions on how to create a free online survey tool to more efficiently collect and tally employer votes.
The hope is that this list serves as a starting point for other colleges working with their own local BILT this year and makes sure curriculum aligns with workforce needs.
Learn more about the BILT model and the KSA vote by referencing these resources:
VIDEO: Your Annual Job Skills Validation Vote (10 minutes)
VIDEO: Understanding the KSA Worksheet (7 minutes)
VIDEO: Seven Essentials of the BILT model (4 minutes)
DOCUMENT: Implementing the BILT Model of Business Engagement (16-page PDF)
VIDEO: Using Google Tools to Conduct Your KSA Vote – Working from an Existing Form (8 minutes)