“The cost of education is a major barrier and not everyone has the time or resources to go to a four-year school when they’re trying to take care of the basic necessities of life. Going through a traditional education path to learn new skills isn’t always the answer for these workers,” says Ferguson. “The program was designed to be a cost-effective way to increase a worker’s skill level -- and earnings potential -- in a short period of time, while helping employers fill growing talent gaps.”
These boot camp-type programs are no replacement for college, but they do offer a supplement to traditional education and can help hone specific skill sets for workers looking to boost their resumes. And it’s important to note that, while in a typical degree program you walk away with an associates or bachelor’s degree, with this type of “boot-camp” program, you’ll walk away with “a certificate of achievement,” according to Ferguson. But for plenty of employers, that type of experience is enough alongside a bachelor’s degree, especially in a skills shortage.
Not just about the students
The program isn’t just aimed at helping place candidates in the right open positions. It’s also intended to help businesses save money and time. While there has been some argument over whether or not the STEM gap is real, most studies suggest that companies actually do have a number of unfilled positions at their companies for the tech industry. In 2014, CareerBuilder released a study on the skills gap that reinforced the reality of a skills gap in technology and highlighted its detrimental effects on the bottom line and productivity.
“On average, a company loses more than $14,000 for every job that stays vacant for three months or longer; one in six companies loses $25,000 or more,” says Ferguson. That means that if this program can place qualified candidates into open positions, it could also serve to save employers money in the long run.
Ferguson also points to the “domino effect” of the skills gap, “If a company can’t fill high-skill roles, it delays the creation of lower-skilled positions that are tied to those roles.” He also points out how the study unveiled that 67 percent of respondents said that their business has “experienced a negative impact due to extended job vacancies,” and of those 67 percent, 31 percent have “reported a loss in revenue.”
For those interested in enrolling, the pilot program will include an HTML5 course and Ferguson says they anticipate anywhere from 100 to 200 participants. For other courses and more specific information about the program, you will have to wait until sometime in the spring.
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