Closing the Workforce Development Pipeline Gap for Computer Software Engineers, Designers, and Cybersecurity Professionals
Despite offering generous salaries and perks, companies simply can’t find enough computer software engineers, designers, or cybersecurity professionals to meet their needs. This isn’t because these jobs are undesirable but because the current workforce simply doesn’t have the needed skills. It’s time to take a new approach to match employers with employees who are prepared to contribute on day one.
A Gap in the Workforce Development PipelineThe employment data shows a consistent trend of there simply not being enough software engineers. Over the past year, there were about 1,000 open job postings at any given time. At the same time, only a few dozen candidates were actively seeking a new position. In some locations, there were over ten job listings for every potential candidate. Even when employers try to broaden their reach, they simply can’t find qualified candidates. This is in large part due to the current education system that is behind the times, doesn’t teach specific needed skills, and doesn’t guide students on how to prepare for a career in these high-demand fields.
Effectiveness of Online Classrooms and InstructionTraditional education has two inherent flaws. The first is an administrative bureaucracy that means it could take years to change the curriculum for a field that changes by the month. The second is its need to cater to a broad audience of students and employers in many different fields. Online education is both agile and highly-tailored to specific goals. Employers are directly involved including in some cases creating and sponsoring courses open to the general public. Finally, online classrooms and instruction allow students to work at their own pace in a way that suits their own learning style. This is something that simply can’t happen in a classroom filled with hundreds of students on a strict semester schedule.
Importance of Extracurricular Activities for StudentsThe gaps in online education are why employers increasingly look beyond the classroom when hiring students and recent graduates. Especially in computer sciences, a strong portfolio can be far more important than a flawless transcript. In addition, employers outside of the computer science fields are increasingly demanding some knowledge of programming. For example, Citi wants its incoming analysts with business degrees to know Python. Students who are able to acquire these skills on their own have a leg up in the hiring process. Platforms like Codecraft Works fill the education gap by allowing students and current professionals to develop their coding skills at their own pace. This, in turn, helps to close the workforce development pipeline gap for employers.