IT and Education – a perspective from Joe Blasi

When I discuss career issues with anyone, no matter what occupation, I always promote the idea that networking is the X factor towards finding employment. You never know who you will meet and what viewpoints they have to build your knowledge.

Through ITKAN and working in other networking formats, I have found Joe Blasi to be one of the most tenacious job seekers that I have worked with in my career. He is engaging, always full of questions and is always up for looking hard for the complete answer.

Since I have known Joe, he has crusaded against the traditional education system, supporting a hands-on study approach and intense training for IT knowledge, and makes solid arguments for his point. I have talked with Joe about how the educational process should change, and his strong beliefs have always been the same.

“I’ve been frustrated that those making hiring decisions can’t see a little further. In some formats, especially in IT, the 4 year process doesn’t work for some, especially those who have learning disabilities,” Joe says.  “I’ve been passed on jobs  even though I have had training in non-degree classes, and been more knowledgeable than my competition,” Joe said.  “The older college system is not for all, and some people learn better on their own.  It’s an antiquated system, especially in IT.”

“Schools that are based around 2 years of intensive, hands-on IT training are much better equipped than those spending on English or composition classes. That’s how you can be more flexible and keep up with the industry. Even awarding badges would make the system more relevant.”

After the last ITKAN meeting, Joe marveled at our first discussion on Big Data, which is a big part of ITKAN’s “Megatrends” discussions in 2013.

Big Data
One of ITKAN’s Megatrends in 2013

“I learned how important Big Data is to industries like the medical industry, marketing and so on. I never realized how much data is compiled through a simple drive-thru transaction at McDonald’s…it’s so hard to get your head wrapped around it, but rather than study about theory, I want to be hands-on, learn the processes on how to compile that data and see how it can be used. It’s great.”

Join us for our next meeting on August 8th at 5:00 PM to find out about Big Data, meet Pat Maher and Bill O’Connor from nAblement, and talk to Joe more about IT. You’ll always walk away from the conversation with more knowlege.

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