Page 23 - Campus Technology, November/December 2017
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Future Trends
Finally, our survey included some open-ended questions about what the future has in store for IT in higher education.
When asked what will be the biggest data security threat over the next five years, respondents’ No. 1 concern was how to protect sensitive data. The top threats they cited: hacking, the human factor (including lack of training), phishing, ransomware, mobile devices, cloud and the Internet of Things. “Higher ed is increasingly a bigger target for hacking and phishing,” noted a help desk/technical support specialist at a four-year private nonprofit institution in Kentucky.
Survey participants were also asked to identify the biggest shift in education IT over the next five years. Their top responses: growth of online learning, use of mobile devices, moving systems to the cloud, outsourcing and virtual reality. A trainer at a four-year public institution in Ohio, for instance, predicted a “gradual shift to micro-credentials and online courses.” And, as a mobile specialist/technologist at a four-year private in the same state noted, “Increase in mobile devices leads to the need for a more robust infrastructure, which is costly, and continuous professional development for faculty and staff. It’s a moving target.”
In fact, many comments from respondents reflected a general state of change:
“Constant forward motion to remain at the ‘top of our game,’” said a call center manager at a two-year public in Pennsylvania.
“Due for disruption,” noted an assistant VP at a two-year public in the same state.
“In flux,” said a director of information technology at a four- year public in New Jersey.
Many also emphasized the value of IT in higher education:
“[IT is] clearly an essential tool in the delivery of instruction, whether in-person or remote,” noted an executive vice president of administration at a two-year public institution in Illinois.
“IT is close to being ubiquitous,” said an online learning specialist at a four-year public in New York.
“IT is a learning partner in classrooms and is more than dissemination of information — it is also the creation and the recording of information,” commented a hybrid AV-IT manager/ integrator at a two-year public in Texas.
“IT will be key to the future of most higher ed institutions. Students will expect ‘Amazon-like’ services from their univer- sity,” said a CIO at a four-year private nonprofit in Iowa.
“When does IT just become the standard acceptable and not even thought of as technology?” asked a senior e-learning professional at a four-year public in Illinois.
And one IT manager at a four-year private nonprofit institution in North Carolina astutely observed that the value of IT only goes so far when it’s poorly communicated: “I work in IT communications and it is severely overlooked in IT. Our department, like most large universities, makes dozens of changes, rollouts and updates to technology every year and we
rely on one person to communicate it to the entire enterprise. The ‘if you build it, they will come’ days are over. IT needs to invest in more sophisticated communication methods to attain mindshare of users.”
CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | November/December 2017
The Campus Technology 2017 IT Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey was conducted in September and October of this year. We put out an open invitation
to IT professionals in higher education, advertised on, in our newsletters and in e-mail promotions to our subscriber list. Responses were confidential, and respondents had the option to enter to win a $250 Amazon gift card.
After culling ineligible submissions (from faculty members, K-12 staffers, etc.), we were left with 238 qualified responses. Sixty-eight percent came from public colleges and universities (two-year and four-year); 24 percent from private nonprofit institutions; and 8 percent from private for-profit institutions.
Respondents represented a range of institution sizes: 0-499 students: 3 percent; 500-999: 4 percent; 1,000- 2,499: 14 percent; 2,500-4,999: 8 percent; 5,000- 9,999: 13 percent; 10,000-19,000: 20 percent; 20,000- 29,999: 14 percent; 30,000 and higher: 24 percent. They came from 42 states, with the highest numbers from New York, California, Pennsylvania, Texas and Illinois.

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