On March 9th, 2015, President Obama announced a new campaign to get more Americans into high-paying technology jobs. The campaign, called the TechHire Initiative is aimed at providing rapid IT training for Americans from diverse academic backgrounds.
Under normal circumstances, entry into the IT job market requires academic training of between 2 and 4 years. Under the TechHire Initiative, individuals will be able to enter the job market after just 3 months of intense training.
The training will be focused on equipping people with key skills which are required for specific jobs within the IT sector. Basically, people will be trained to fill already existing positions in the technology sector. According to the White House TechHire press release, there are currently 500,000 open jobs in the technology sector. TechHire is aimed at equipping people to fill those jobs.
The training will be carried out by so-called “computer coding academies” which are dotted all over the country. These academies typically offer short courses for graduates who are targeting well respected tech jobs. The courses usually last for 3 months, and are often followed by placement into reputable tech companies. The only problem is that these courses usually cost approximately $10,000.
Under the TechHire Initiative, the Federal Government will cover the course costs through grants. The government has set aside $100 million to provide grants to people who would like to undertake these courses. The courses themselves will be redesigned such that even those who don’t have a background in computer science can benefit from them.
This is because the TechHire Initiative is intended to bring people who would normally have no access to the tech jobs into the tech jobs market. This includes people who don’t have a computer science or IT academic background. It also includes minorities and underserved populations. Basically, TechHire will open up the tech world to a whole new range of people.
TechHire will be implemented in partnership with key employers in the IT sector. These employers will provide the opportunities for people trained through the program. For the start, TechHire will kick off with 300 employers including popular companies like Cisco, Microsoft and LinkedIn. These will provide a total of 120,000 open jobs.
The program will also be implemented in partnership with forward-leaning local communities. Initially, TechHire will be implemented in 21 communities dotted all over the country. The initial training for the 120,000 people required by the 300 tech employers will be carried out in these communities. Details of each of the participating communities can be found on the White House website.
Ultimately, TechHire is intended to be a win-win for everybody involved:
- for tech companies, it will provide much needed skilled labor to bolster their ranks (there is currently a shortfall of 500,000 skilled laborers).
- for the trainees, it will provide access to lucrative tech jobs. On average, IT related jobs pay up to 50% higher than the average private sector American job.
- for minorities and underserved populations, it will provide an opportunity to enter the IT job market.
- for the country, it will unleash a new generation of passionate individuals who could fuel the next tech boom
Basically, TechHire is likely to open doors to individuals who otherwise may have never been able to enter the technology workforce. This includes individuals who do not have the financial muscle to enroll for coding courses. It also includes those who feel intimidated because they do not have a solid IT background.
According to Jeremy Snepar, an instructor at New York Code+ Design Academy (NYCDA), having a computer science background isn’t a prerequisite for success. NYCDA offers the 12-week intense courses of the type TechHire will provide grants for. Jeremy told Time Warner Cable News:
“We look for students who are passionate about tech, who have a strong work ethic, who have just the perseverance to proceed through the course and you know, do the work, learn, and then be successful on the job.”
In a nutshell, if you are someone who has been wishing to enter into the lucrative tech world, then President Obama’s TechHire Initiative is the perfect opportunity. It can enable you to not only get the key skills which are necessary for success in the tech world; it can actually help you to get placements with lucrative tech firms. The best part is that you can enjoy all these benefits without spending any of your own money.
Therefore, if you have dreams of joining the tech workforce, then you should make sure you don’t miss out on this opportunity. You can find out more about the TechHire Initiative on the White House website.