TEKsystems and Per Scholas join forces in innovative workforce development solutions
June 20, 2019 | By Jay Alvather, President, TEKsystems
Companies looking for IT talent today face a few stark realities:
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2020, there will be 1.4 million computer-science-related jobs available, and only about 400,000 computer science graduates who have the necessary skills to apply for those jobs.
- Traditional forms of education, like bachelor’s and master’s degreed programs, aren’t always inclusive or accessible to everyone.
- To meet the significant demand for talent in the technology sector, we’re going to have to look to alternative, programmatic and nontraditional training paths to fill the talent pipeline.
With technology ever-present in our daily lives, we not only need more people who can build, manage and secure that technology, but we need those people to better reflect the needs, values and experiences of the global population.
In short order, companies need to rethink their hiring and training practices to meet vastly different demand. We must diverge, diversify—and dive in. At TEKsystems, we’re well-positioned to support the technology industry in this endeavor, as both a full-stack technology services provider and the largest provider of IT talent in North America, and our partnership with Per Scholas is helping to make that a reality.
Partners in change
Per Scholas is a national nonprofit that provides rigorous and tuition-free technology training and professional development for motivated and curious adults who are unemployed or underemployed to help them build lasting, life-changing careers in technology. Since 1995, Per Scholas has helped open doors for nearly 10,000 individuals—87% of their graduates are people of color, and 30% are women.
In 2018, TEKsystems piloted a training partnership with Per Scholas in our home city of Baltimore. The hands-on, 15-week Network and Help Desk IT Career Course taught students to troubleshoot and maintain computers, software, networks and mobile devices, and concluded with students earning industry-standard CompTIA A+ and NETWORK+ certifications. Within a month of graduation, TEKsystems hired over 60% of the class graduates and put their newly acquired certified skills to work.
Custom training partnership
With the success in Baltimore and a history of partnering to put people to work—TEKsystems has hired over 400 Per Scholas graduates across six U.S. markets since 2015—TEKsystems and Per Scholas have teamed up again to enact change at a larger, more impactful level. This year, we announced the launch of custom training programs in key markets expected to have significant growth over the next five years: Boston, Detroit and Philadelphia.
Our partnership with Per Scholas proactively addresses the issue that there’s not enough technical talent in these cities to meet demand—both in sheer numbers and in experience with emerging technologies.
Over the next three years, more than 500 job seekers will receive tuition-free training that’s designed to fill high-demand technology roles that employers are actively searching for in these markets. The skills-based training tracks will be determined by, and customized to fit, the skills our clients are asking for in that market and may include skills relevant to cyber security, software engineering and data engineering. Our first class in Boston—a 13-week course on Java development—launched in May, with Detroit and Philadelphia launches following later this summer.
This partnership has changed me, changed my future, and changed the trajectory of my family’s future. I am sure in time it will change my city, one class at a time.
Zobaria Ashraf, 2018 Per Scholas Graduate and Valedictorian (Baltimore), Current TEKsystems Employee
This strategic partnership not only helps address the talent gap and strengthen diversity in IT but is more proof that it is possible for organizations to “do well by doing good.” The Per Scholas graduates we’ve employed aren’t just enriching their teams and organizations, they’re building a better future for themselves and their families, while strengthening communities.
As Per Scholas President and CEO Plinio Ayala says, “This impact is generational.”
For more information about the course, please visit platformbyps.org/TEKsystems.
(Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Jay Alvather’s personal LinkedIn, “TEKsystems and Per Scholas join forces in innovative workforce development solutions,” in June 2019.)