The technology industry has grown at a rapid pace in the last few years and one issue that has become prominent is a skills gap in technology.
According to CompTIA, a nonprofit trade association focused on the information technology industry, many factors are contributing to the technology skills gap, such as a lack of advanced skills, and insufficient K-12 and college education.
Reinventing the education system to best suit the technology sector takes initiatives and bureaucratic action — two things that take time. To keep up with the demand, more qualified professionals are needed now. Hence, solutions haven’t been solely concentrated on traditional education systems, but also on adult learning.
Career training programs are helping to address the current growing technology skills gap, changing the landscape of education by teaching adults the skills they are missing. Career training programs will be the first step toward creating a capable tech workforce.
How do Career Training Programs Help Jobseekers?
Career training programs can be ideal for any adult who wants to change their career.
The technology industry needs professionals who are capable of handling complex solutions. People who are looking to change their careers may have qualities that are ideal for the computer industry but may not have the precise specifications.
For example, someone who majored in business or English during college may have valuable skills like creativity and strong communication skills. However, they may not know how to develop a website or maintain computer hardware.
Career training programs can also be helpful to people who are currently in the industry but are lacking in specific skills. They can learn what’s needed to get that job they want — without having to waste time.
An adult shouldn’t have to go back to college to earn a four-year degree in computer science or computer engineering to get started — and they don’t need to. Career training programs allow adults to earn certificates and complete courses so they learn the specific skills that are missing.
How Might a Career Training Program be Better Than a Traditional Four-Year Degree?
While a traditional four-year college degree is very helpful in advancing a technology career, it isn’t the end-all-be-all to getting a jumpstart in technology. For some, a career training program might be a better option. Here are several reasons why a career training program may be a better option than a four-year degree.
It takes less time. Career training programs work toward completing a certificate or many certificates, not a degree. Degrees take more time to learn because someone who enrolls in college is seeking a higher education, which includes general knowledge as well as training in specific skills. A certificate only focuses on a specific area that a person is hoping to learn more about. Career training programs can take anywhere from a few months to two years.
It’s flexible. Since career training programs do not involve a heavy course load, it includes a far more flexible schedule. For those who are currently working a full-time job or have a young child, career training programs may be a better option, since it is not as demanding as a four-year degree.
It doesn’t require a tedious application process. Anyone who has applied for college knows that it can be a long and very detailed process. Remember writing that personal essay? Or sending in all those standardized test scores? That definitely wasn’t fun. Thankfully, career training programs are far simpler when it comes to the application process. Many may require a high school diploma or some basic information about you, but it doesn’t require a culmination of your time in high school.
It can be a lot cheaper. A career training program can be a cost-effective solution for those who don’t want to be thousands of dollars in debt. Since career training programs involve fewer courses, less money is needed to receive a certification.
Where Can I Get Started?
Several WOZ learning delivery partners offer career training programs in information technology. These will usually provide skills for entry-level positions or very specific areas in the technology industry.
Major technology companies also offer career training programs in the form of apprenticeships. The WOZ Registered Apprenticeship Program creates a unique career path for jobseekers who want to pursue a technology job. Working closely with global leaders in technology, like Infosys, the WOZ technology apprenticeship program trains jobseekers to become skilled technology talent through career path development and an intense, eight-week pre-apprentice training program.
Microsoft also has several programs organized by job role. For example, if someone is interested in becoming a developer, then Microsoft will break down their certification paths by the level of experience that the person wants to pursue.
The Takeaways for Career Training Programs
Resolving the technology skills gap will take time, but it’s important to have several solutions to address this multifaceted issue.
Adult learning can help tremendously in resolving the technology skills gap because it acknowledges people can be at different stages in their learning process. Some adults may know how to code, but may not bear specific skills necessary for a job, so a career training program can help bridge the gap.
Career training programs are initiating change for education systems, helping to create capable tech industry professionals right now. Therefore, we’ll be able to see a tech workforce that can keep up with the rising demand of the industry. Learn more about career training programs Powered by WOZ.
Sophia Acevedo is a journalist based in Southern California. She is a 2020 graduate from California State University, Fullerton, and a proud Daily Titan alum.