3 Organizations Providing Creative Tech Talent Gap Solutions
The Tech talent gap is a problem we’ve heard way too much about. (We get it; it’s bad.) What we really need is less talk about the shortage and more creative Tech talent gap solutions.
Well, hope is on the horizon, so you can save the doomsday plan for another time. Three innovative organizations are doing something about the Tech talent gap, and these solutions just might work. Fingers crossed.
The Girl Scouts
You’ve definitely heard of the Girl Scouts of the USA. You probably bought cookies from them recently (if you’re anything like me, you might still have some Thin Mints stashed in the freezer), but you might not know that this historic female organization is providing viable Tech talent gap solutions pertaining specifically to cybersecurity.
The Girl Scouts recently announced plans to introduce a series of 18 cybersecurity badges for girls K-12 as an extension of their “fun with purpose” STEM strategy. The innovative organization is prioritizing ways to better prepare their 1.8 million members for a successful future in a tech-driven landscape. As important as sewing skills might be, we’re psyched to see this organization place less emphasis on their more gender stereotyped-badges and continue to reshape the way we think about girls and their interests.
Shockingly only 11 percent of the current cybersecurity workforce is made up of women, according to a study by nonprofit Center for Cyber Safety and Education (ISC), which is another Tech talent gap the group is looking to help solve through their cybersecurity initiative.
This is a great step in the right direction for a group that some may (incorrectly) think has fallen behind the times. While the new badges won’t replace older ones, they will encourage girls to check out STEM at a younger age and hopefully result in more female Tech professionals. Because the world definitely needs way more females to get in Tech formation.
One of the most unusual Tech talent gap solutions? Paid apprenticeships.
LaunchCode, created by Square cofounder, Jim McKelvey, believes these old-fashioned internships are they key to solving our growing Tech talent shortage. And he just might be right.
When creating Square, McKelvey tried to keep the startup in his hometown of St. Louis, MO, but found there wasn’t enough Tech talent nearby. To solve the city’s rising unemployment rate and the lack of Tech talent, McKelvey cofounded LaunchCode with the idea that paid Tech apprenticeships could be the answer. Turns out, they are.
Simple barriers like not having the right degree or looking the part are keeping qualified workers out of the Tech industry. LaunchCode looks to remedy these barriers by getting candidates with entry-level Tech skills guaranteed placements as apprentices, a foot in the door to an industry that can feel impossible to break into, in order to gain real-life experience, improve their resumes, and land a full-time Tech job. In turn, providing these apprenticeships gives companies a chance to pay less to develop an in-house Tech expert initially that they will be able to rely on fully down the road.
McKelvey’s solution is turning out to be legit. The LaunchCode program is now operating in St. Louis, Kansas City, Rhode Island, South Florida, and Seattle and they boast over 3,000+ full-time placements from their efforts. Say hello to your antiquated, yet effective Tech talent gap solution: apprenticeships.
Bit Source is the most interesting Tech talent gap solutions we’ve seen yet (This may sound familiar if you’re a John Oliver fan). The agile software and website development house takes local unemployed coal miners and teaches them how to code. They’re confronting the Tech talent gap head on while also tackling the displacement of fossil fuel workers as the US turns to more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly alternatives.
Basically, they’re solving the Tech talent gap problem and helping the US go green without leaving anyone behind.
Located in Pikeville, KY, the company was born out of the frustration Rusty Justice and M. Lynn Parrish felt watching their local economy plummet and out-of-work coal miners struggle to get by as their technical coal-specific skills became less needed. The pair decided to do something to help locals find work and provide clients with the software development talent they couldn’t find anywhere in the area.
Bit Source’s numbers might be low, only nine ex-coal miners on staff at the moment, but they’re looking to expand once they net some more clients. We’ll definitely be rooting for this locally-owned Tech talent gap solution.
The Future of Tech Talent Gap Solutions Is Brighter Than You Thought
Tech talent gaps may be growing for now, but these organizations aren’t backing down from a little challenge. The Girl Scouts will be a driving force in getting girls involved in STEM earlier and interested in pursuing Tech-based professions. LaunchCode’s apprenticeships could be the key to identifying qualified Tech professionals that just need some real-world experience to get their skills up to par. And Bit Source’s creative talent sourcing will help solve not only the Tech talent shortage but displaced fossil fuel workers as well. All in all, the future of Tech talent is looking surprisingly bright, and we couldn’t be happier to hear it.
If you lack the Tech talent you need now, contact Mondo today. We have the high-end, niche IT/Tech professionals you can’t find anywhere else.