Four North Dakota students were awarded $1,000 scholarships for their achievements in information technology (IT) competitions at the state SkillsUSA competition held April 17-19 in Bismarck. The scholarships were sponsored by the Information Technology Council of North Dakota (ITCND).
Scholarship recipients were Cole Hoover, Grand Forks Central High School in the information technology systems high school division; Evan Welsch, Grand Forks Central High School in the computer programming high school division; Kyle Korman, Grand Forks Red River High School in the internetworking high school division; and Zach Kessler, Bismarck State College in the internetworking college division.
Each recipient received a $1,000 scholarship to be used at a North Dakota postsecondary institution of their choice.
“The IT industry has made it a priority to get students interested in IT careers. These students have shown the interest and scholarships are one way to keep them engaged,” says ITCND President Jeremy Neuharth of Sycorr in Fargo. “There currently are and will continue to be high-quality, high-wage IT job opportunities for them in North Dakota.”
ITCND sponsored the scholarships as part of its IT Career Awareness Program. The goal of the program is to inform students, parents and educators of the state’s IT career opportunities in an effort to secure an IT workforce into the future. A recent study reports North Dakota has seen an increase of nearly 20 percent in IT occupations over the past decade and is projecting a 45 percent increase for the next decade. However, the number of students completing IT-related degrees is not meeting the need.
“IT is an integral component of virtually every sector and industry statewide. This magnifies the need for a high-quality IT workforce,” says Neuharth.