Tech Jobs for All?
Exploring the Promise and Pitfalls of Technology Training in the United States
In the past few years, training programs promising on-ramps to high-paying tech jobs have sprung up across the country, drawing attention from the media, government leaders, and the general public. The rapid growth of these new models for tech training - often designed to fill the projected growth in information and communication technology (ICT) jobs - raises questions about how best to classify and understand these programs and their role and value in workforce development more generally.
This report examines the reasons for the tech training hype and proposes a taxonomy of training programs, cataloging best practices from each program type. The report also identifies challenges that organizations, employers, and the government will need to address to ensure these expanding programs accurately meet market demand and look to the future of tech training more generally.
Interest in new tech training is often driven by government estimates of as many as 500,000 currently open ICT jobs and more than a million similar new jobs being created in the next decade. While these are only estimates, technology jobs are often touted as being plentiful, high-paying, and available to anyone with the skills to do them, regardless of a formal degree. Spurred on by the promise of these new career pathways, organizations have created training programs that offer to teach anyone the ICT skills they need to get a job in only a few months.
Tech training programs face many of the same challenges as traditional workforce development programs, as well as some additional unique or exacerbated obstacles. Generally, these challenges involve ensuring trainees have the skills required to succeed, broadening programs to reach diverse populations, connecting with employers and keeping up with changes in the market, and creating a system for evaluating success.Download the Report