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Northeast Wisconsin sees growing need for more IT workers

Fox Valley Tech expands its IT Department to keep up with changes in the industry, March 15, 2017. (WLUK)

GRAND CHUTE (WLUK) -- After working as a welder for years, 50-year-old Forest Peters says it was time for a change.

"I love tearing things apart, putting things together, I mean helping people is what I do," he explained.

Peters will soon be graduating from Fox Valley Technical College with an IT degree.

He already has a job working in the field, "It's more of a mind labor than it is a physical labor. You actually have to use your mind, more than your hands and body."

Doug Waterman is the Dean of Information Technologies at the College.

He says Fox Valley Tech recently expanded its IT department to keep up with changing industry, "IT isn't just one-stop shop anymore. It runs across all company aspects. You're not just working in one area."

Fox Valley Tech says there is a need for qualified IT technicians.

Here are the facts:

  • In 2015 the college says on average, 28 full-time positions were posted in Northeast Wisconsin each month.
  • That number climbed to 30 in 2016

There are several different jobs under the IT category.

Looking at numbers from 2012 through 2014, Fox Valley Tech says these were the top IT openings for Northeast Wisconsin companies:

  1. Software Developer/Engineer
  2. Computer Support Specialist
  3. Systems Analyst
  4. Network/Systems Administrator
  5. Business Intelligence Analyst
  6. Computer Programmer
  7. Database Administrator
  8. Network Engineer/Architect
  9. Cyber/Information Security Engineer
  10. Software QA Engineer/Tester

Waterman says in the next four years there will be more than 20,000 open IT jobs, which is why students like Peters are being hired before they even graduate.

"That's really what's happening, we're seeing our students getting the job in their 3rd or 4th semester," he explained.

It's a career Peters says is rewarding, "It's huge. If you're trying to get into the field, there is so much you can learn, you can never stop learning."

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