In the past, the requirement of the highly sought out college STEM degree deterred many from pursuing tech industry positions as well as digital engineering. Though with the shifting workforce expectations and the decrease in college enrollment companies are starting to look at recently graduated high school students as a solid and fruitful talent pool option while also providing them with a great alternative pathway to a career in the tech industry. Companies like HCL Technologies have launched programs with the hopes that the factor of a debt-free education and increasing occupation options will draw in participants for now and the future.
“Today, the tech industry accounts for nearly 12% of the U.S. GDP and may create 8 million jobs by 2023. Yet millions of those jobs go unfilled, more than 500,000 nationwide according to Code.org. Universities are unprepared to fill the labor gap, and the focus on degrees misses a big point: Not all computing jobs require them. Many tech roles demand specialized technical and soft skills, not four-year degrees. They fall into the category of “new collar” jobs. In November, multibillion global HCL Technologies announced 500 new jobs coming to Connecticut in IoT, augmented reality, aerospace engineering, infrastructure, digital workplace, IT applications, and operations. Given the hiring hotbed, where will all those “new collar” candidates come from? Some may flow through a technology apprenticeship developed by HCL. The unique HCL program mirrors best practices in technology apprenticeships, including the benefit of a debt-free education. “The apprenticeship provides full pay and benefits, with careers in software development and testing, digital and cloud services, infrastructure delivery, and engineering,” explained HCL Technologies Global CMO, Jill Kouri, at the recent opening of their newest global delivery center in Hartford, Connecticut.”
Apprenticeship programs like HCL’s will look to recruit and retain skilled workers through their own training programs. Many of these new talent recruiting methods were birthed from the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and only look to increase with many industry landscapes turning to a more digital age. Apprenticeship programs will help to propel a company’s workforce development as well as create valuable economic opportunities for communities that need them. For tech apprenticeships salaries tend to run much higher than other occupation averages for non-degree careers. After they are fully employed, pay is bumped further, while also helping to increase and alleviate corporate relationships with the community helping to improve that community’s economy for the better.