The technology sector accounts for 10 percent of U.S. GDP and is the fastest-growing part of the American economy. However, there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill the 500,000 open high-tech jobs in the U.S. And according to CTA’s Future of Work survey, tech executives report that, in the next five years, they will struggle to fill jobs in software development, data analytics and engineering.
CTA Apprenticeship Coalition
The CTA Apprenticeship Coalition aims to help solve the looming shortage of workers. Furthermore, it wants to ensure the tech sector remains key to America’s success. It provides frameworks for more than 15 different apprenticeship for careers in fast-growing fields including software engineering, data science and analytics, cybersecurity, mainframe system administration, creative design and program management. IBM’s successful apprenticeship program, which launched in 2017, will serve as a model for new apprenticeships.
The apprenticeships created by the Coalition provide pathways to tech jobs in all parts of the country. From Kansas to Minnesota to Louisiana — and not only in traditional tech hubs on the coasts.
Its goal is to widen the aperture when it comes to hiring by placing the focus on skills rather than specific degrees. It covers early-career professionals to mid-career transitions and everything in between. These apprenticeships represent a new pathway to success in 21st century careers. Included are the growing number of new collar roles not always requiring a traditional bachelor’s degree. They also offer an opportunity to build in-demand skills without taking on student debt.
“Tech innovations are creating new jobs and careers. Apprenticeships are one of the most successful types of work-based learning. Consequently, they will help revitalize the U.S. workforce from coast to coast,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “We’re excited to provide our members with a free resource that allows companies to establish and scale their apprenticeship programs.”
During her opening at CES 2019, Ginni Rometty, president and chairman of IBM, announced that IBM pledged to add at least 450 apprenticeships a year for the next five years.
“At IBM, being an open and trusted company means going beyond the technology. This entails working to understand and address the societal impact of tech,” said Rometty. “Our commitment – and our entire industry’s obligation – is to build a workforce that is ‘tomorrow ready.’ This new Coalition allows us to scale apprenticeship programs nationwide. Furthermore, we can prepare more workers for the surging number of new collar jobs that require in-demand skills, but not always a four-year degree.”