Iowa “Grows Its Own” to Fill the HPC Workforce Pipeline

Northwestern College’s graduate school has added a computer science endorsement to its list of online education endorsement and M.Ed. degrees.

Since commercial and industry jobs pay more than comparable roles at universities, campus recruiting and retention have become challenging.

In addition to developing new retention strategies, UI Associate Director of Research Services Joe Hetrick is attempting to increase the local prospect pool by exposing more students, faculty, and staff—from a larger variety of disciplines—to specialized training.

“Through the campus-wide information technology community, we’re extending an invitation to those who work in other departments. We can arrange for them to job-shadow or cross-train with incumbent research computing specialists so they can ‘try it on’ before committing should a vacancy occur,” he said.

“By targeting early-career professionals, we hope to help them envision an alternative career path, especially women and other demographics that are underrepresented in research computing,” he added. Some may lack skills but have everything else needed to succeed, and that’s the type of person Hetrick hopes to find.