When attending university, all students start with a choice. For those who decide on the difficult path of tech related programs, years of hard work, heavy course loads, and highly complex topics are rewarded with the promise of elite jobs in the ever-changing tech industry. Students spend years studying subjects many people are far too intimidated by to attempt to learn. Programs such as Computer Science, Data Science, Machine Learning, AI, and Software Engineering to name a few, are seen as some of the most in-demand fields in the current marketplace. The demand for tech talent is high, with approximately 1 Million unfilled tech positions around the globe, and the employment of tech talent is estimated to increase by 22% by 2029.
So emerging tech graduates must be thriving in the job market then, right?
Wrong. The harsh reality many emerging tech graduates are coming to realize is that the degrees they worked so hard to obtain don’t equip them with the skills entry-level tech jobs expect them to have. The fast rate at which the tech industry is changing, and the rate at which new skills are needed from employees, is constantly increasing at a rate no university can keep up with.
From the perspective of universities, while many may want to keep their coursework relevant, that is not done easily. There are many barriers in the academic world that course material must go through before being approved for teaching. The higher-education system itself is not run in a manner conducive to constant change, causing students to graduate with a skills gap. Many universities take a theoretical approach with teaching hard tech skills, and emerging technologies. This causes many hard skills to be overlooked and hands-on experience with emerging technology not offered.
Universities have tried to address this by offering internships for students to get more relevant hands-on experience. While internships can be valuable, the few months of practical experience are often not enough to fill the skills gap they will experience when graduating. This means for students to really get substantial value from internships, they will most likely need to do multiple by the time they graduate. This would enable them to have more time learning difficult tools and software programs specific to different companies, as well as explore various career paths. However, this isn’t commonly encouraged from universities who often see one internship as enough, leaving students unaware and unprepared.
How this Impacts IT Managers:
If the emerging tech workforce is graduating unprepared, what does this mean for tech managers who need to hire new talent? With 60% of IT executives citing skills shortage as their main hiring paint point in 2022, unfortunately, a lot of frustration. A skills gap as large as the one IT managers face today requires a tremendous amount of time spent on training. 37% of employers said they spent a significant amount of time training new hires to acquire the necessary skills for their organizations. This is not only ineffective time-wise but also not cost-effective.
Large companies are desperately looking for ways to bridge the skills gap. Many have created additional learning opportunities involving classes, coaching, mentoring, and online learning accessible to their current employees with the hope of never having to face a dire talent or skills shortage. Amazon is willing to pay $700 million over the next 6 years to coach existing staff, rather than face a talent shortage. Problem fixed? Not exactly.
Not only does this involve a tremendous amount of money, but it creates a new level of inequality in the job market. If companies only start training from within and only give opportunities to current employees, it cuts off anyone newly entering the job market, which gives the people who need the most to learn emerging technology, no way in. How can the needs of both sides of the tech skills gap be addressed?
The Solution for Everyone: Virtual Experience Programs
A solution modeled around the idea of “Train First, Then Hire” gives recent graduates the ability to fill the skills gap and become work-ready with a direct line to the top tech companies.
Through Virtual Experience Programs (VXP’s), recent graduates can learn the necessary hard skills tech jobs expect, ultimately bridging the skills gap and producing a well-qualified pool of candidates for tech companies to hire directly from.
Benefits For Recent Graduates:
- Access to applicable content directly created by the company where they can learn, practice, apply, and present real work relevant to the specific role they want.
- The ability to get hands-on experience and showcase the hard skills tech companies are looking for.
- After completing a company-specific VXP, they will have a direct line to the tech company, and be placed in a prioritized pool of candidates for entry-level job opportunities.
- Become a work-ready candidate with desirable tech skills.
If you are interested in becoming a learner, new programs are on the way! Please sign up to stay up to date.
Benefits For Tech Companies:
- Access to a pool of highly motivated, work-ready, entry-level candidates with the exact skills needed to be successful in your company.
- Reduced time spent searching for candidates that may, or may not have the desired skills.
- Minimize onboarding time and cost through a “Train First, Then Hire” mentality.
- Solidify your employer branding by creating a powerful channel to attract specialized talent by showcasing your workplace.
VXP’s are the future of hiring emerging tech talent and addresses the best interests of all parties involved in the hiring process. Don’t let the skills gap get in the way of your success, for it is something we can overcome.
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