January 22, 2013

Today in Olympia: Higher Ed Needs of Industry, Overview of Performance Data & Dashboard

By Patrick Bell

The House Higher Education Committee kicked off a week of work sessions this morning focusing on the Higher Ed needs of industry.

Today’s panels focused on the Aerospace and Software industries.

UW’s Computer Science & Engineering Chair Hank Levy presented on the Software panel.

In his presentation, Prof. Levy discussed the broad needs of the software industry, from large firms to startups, and from IT users to IT producers.

Large firms like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are intensely competing for candidates with a broad set of skills, at both the bachelor and graduate levels.

Smaller startups rely on local talent, and can rarely compete on the national or global scale that larger firms can.

Prof. Levy noted that with more state resources, UW could increase STEM degree production and help begin filling workforce gaps.

The UW Daily covered today’s hearing, and reported:

Hank Levy, chair of the UW Computer Science Department, said the main problem his program is facing in terms of producing graduates is capacity.

“We are currently turning away over 300 applications a year at the undergraduate level,” Levy said. “At the graduate level we are only taking about 1 in 10 graduates that apply.”

Watch Prof. Levy’s presentation & discussion with members here.

This afternoon, the Senate Higher Education Committee held a Work Session to get an update on the Statewide Public Four-Year Dashboard, and other data-driven reporting issues.

Watch video of the session on TVW.

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