[Editor’s Note: This piece on was originally post by Optimal Partners’ Blog here.]

As universities and colleges begin to bend to the pressures of an evolving marketplace, many schools are looking toward their IT departments to stay competitive and be prepared to deal with whatever the future has to offer. This adds pressure to the already difficult task of managing university IT, but there’s a very simple place to lay the groundwork for greatness. Your university IT department can only be as good as the IT talent who staff it. The people who keep your systems up and running are the true makers (or breakers) of your bottom line. As such, it is in your best interest to hire and retain the best possible team.

Keep these tips in mind to ensure your team is prepared for the challenges ahead:

1. Look to the Next Generation

Working in Higher Ed provides the exciting opportunity to access the next generation of innovators early in their careers. Find a way to tap into, foster, and nurture this talent; student workers can add fresh perspectives and vibrancy to any Higher Ed IT department. Treating students as “real” workers not only benefits the students but also allows you to find raw talent before it has developed any bad habits to go along with it. Students tend to be motivated, excited, and willing to learn; all qualities for potentially incredible employees. If your institution has a work-study program, you might even be able to hire these workers at a low or reduced cost to your department, allowing you room in the budget for other vital necessities.

(Next page: Tips for retaining IT talent 2-4)


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