Associate Degree: A Case of Abbottabad Region in Pakistan
The city of Abbottabad faces a slow supply of qualified IT specialists at a time of increased demand for IT services. Despite many fold increase in IT graduates in the city, demand is still high. This study identifies the factors influencing high demand and low supply and expands the current evidence base that can be used to inform efforts to promote IT education. Higher Education Commission (HEC) has launched a fast track 2-year Associate Degree Program (ADP) countrywide to ensure the maximum entrance of university graduates in short term. That would in a longer run increase the demand of market oriented candidates inside the country. Our survey is focused to Abbottabad city and its adjoining areas with initiation of ADP in IT related disciplines. Student demographic and socioeconomic characteristics are the most powerful predictors of on-time graduation. To fairly judge program performance, graduation rates must be considered in comparison to what should be expected given the student body’s demographic and socioeconomic profile. Associate Degree Program in IT graduates are more likely to practice in long-term for Computer support technician, Engineering technician, Printing specialist, Computer operator, School teacher, Graphic designer, Key punch/Data entry operator, Network support technician, Inventory record, Software developer, Troubleshooting specialist, Network Technician, Network Administrator, Network Analyst, Network Cabling Specialist, Network Installer, Network Support Specialist, Network Troubleshooter, Office Systems Support Specialist, PC Technician, Software Support Specialist, Software Tester, Software Trainer, Systems Administrator, Internet Manager and Internet Support Specialist. A person with much focused degree will be having greater chances of employment than non-specialists. Also a degree that can be utilized in as many departments as in the market is providing greater flexibility of accommodation.