College of Business course aimed at closing IT skills gap

In response to the growing IT skills gap in the Tampa Bay area, the College of Business is developing a new certificate course that will teach students how to create a mobile application from concept to finished product in just 12 weeks.

The course, developed in partnership with Haneke Design of Tampa, begins July 13 and at the USF St. Petersburg.  Space is limited and early sign up is strongly encouraged.

Students in the iOS Mobile Application Developer Course will work directly with instructor Jesse Curry, Haneke Design’s director of development, who leads the agency’s mobile team and has developed dozens of Apple iOS mobile applications for enterprises across the country.

Each student will learn how to create a mobile application using Apple’s Software Developer Kit in weekly classes.  They will have access to Curry for one hour five days a week to ask questions and obtain extra support for their projects.  Students who successfully complete this course will receive a certificate showing they possess the skills required by most employers hiring entry-level iOS developers today.

Tampa Bay’s information technology skills gap was detailed in a recent report, “The Tampa Bay IT Workforce Analysis, Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.” The report highlights the challenges area technology employers are facing in finding enough local talent to fuel their fast-growing businesses.

College of Business Dean Maling Ebrahimpour

College of Business Dean Maling Ebrahimpour

“We are very excited to partner with Haneke Design to offer this timely and valuable course to our students and this community,” said Maling Ebrahimpour, PhD, dean of the USF St. Petersburg College of Business.  “USF St. Petersburg has a valuable role to play in fueling the growth of this region’s economy by ensuring that our students receive both the classic academic training that is foundational to their chosen profession as well as opportunities to acquire the latest in-demand skills that will make them more marketable in high-growth, fast-changing industries like technology.  In addition, by collaborating with area business leaders to develop solutions for our region’s most pressing talent challenges, USF St. Petersburg’s College of Business adds even greater value in helping fuel Tampa Bay’s economic growth.”

Jody Haneke, president of Haneke Design, said her own company has struggled to find qualified employees. “Like many other technology companies, our greatest challenge has been finding people with three to five years of experience who can deploy the skills we need most from Day One on the job,” Haneke said. “One way to address this problem is to encourage students, veteran developers, and service members entering the civilian workforce to take courses like these, so they can get those highly desired skills and show that they have experience in delivering completed, professional-quality projects.”

For more information about the iOS Mobile Application Developer course, contact Alison Watkins, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate and executive education and associate professor of information systems & decision sciences at USF St. Petersburg at or 727-873-4086.