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ITIL 4 at The University of Texas at Dallas

Blog posted by: Gaurav Shekhar – program director for MS in Business Analytics – Flex and Online and assistant professor, Naveen Jindal School of Management, UT Dallas, 12 August 2021.

Students in a lecture hall

For us at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), success is when someone says I can’t do something and we help them to do that thing and build a career based on those skills.

For example, if someone has the ambition to become a CEO then it’s about giving them the resources, mentors and the right skill sets that make the difference.

And this is why at the Jindal School I teach ITIL® 4 alongside our core curriculum.

Teaching professional certifications like ITIL is not because the degree coursework is lacking; rather professional certifications, curated by industry professionals, validate skills and help students understand what industry and its customers are looking for.

And, for hiring managers, certifications give them confidence about how much a candidate knows and offer evidence of their business capabilities.

Bringing ITIL 4 to UTD

I first learned about ITIL at Ericsson in 2011 and was so impressed by the whole framework, that I applied what I learned to my daily work. At the time, I was a developer on an IT tool and could see how ITIL helped with different processes.

Every time I applied for a job after that, ITIL was always part of the conversation.

I knew it would be important for students — if they got certified in just one thing — to get the ITIL certificate, which is why I’ve championed it at UTD. In the past year, up to 200 people have been through the certification program, and we can see it growing further.

Benefits of ITIL 4

Among the people who study ITIL with us, I can see them becoming liberated — essentially, more confident and valuable IT practitioners — and opening more doors to their future career.

They can relate the guidance to their daily work but also to their personal lives and how we can all use continual improvement to do things better.

Getting a certificate also helps students acclimatize to the professional world. While they focus on their specific areas of technology, they also think about how to bind everything in IT services together.

In the graduate-level digital consulting course I teach, we have real projects from sponsors and our students have to develop a solution. So, rather than fixating on a particular IT language or tool, ITIL helps them to see that it’s about creating value. And, if you’re not, you’re not serving the purpose.

Also, working with IT practitioners at the UT Southwestern Medical Center, they are relating ITIL to healthcare: learning how to improve patients’ lives using services and practices.

Growing with ITIL 

Once students are ITIL certified, I tell them to use it for some time and then reflect on how they want to grow in an organization.

They need to think about that — and themselves — in relation to an organization: see how their role impacts their enterprise and then seek the more advanced ITIL modules at Managing Professional and Strategic Leader level that are relevant to them.

And I encourage them to talk to other people in their organizations about the benefits. Getting them certified, too, is when everyone gels properly.

Click here for information about studying ITIL 4 at UTD or here to contact Gaurav Shekhar.


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