Registered Apprenticeships Can Help Ease the National Shortage of Tech Talent

Staff Report

Thursday, November 17th, 2022

The persistent shortage of technology workers across America can be eased if more employers relied on apprenticeships to develop new tech talent, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and CompTIA said today.

The two organizations, partners in the federally supported CompTIA Apprenticeships for Tech program, are highlighting the program's successes during the 8th Annual National Apprenticeship Week (Nov. 14-20) and encouraging employers to take a fresh look at the Registered Apprenticeship model.

"We have made great progress in preparing people for tech jobs that offer good starting salaries and opportunities for career advancement," said Amy Kardel, senior vice president, strategic workforce relationships, CompTIA. "But there is more work to do, and we are committed to aggressively expanding participation." 

Approximately 80% of apprentices participating in the program are from groups that are underrepresented in the tech workforce. They are receiving career training in five different occupations: cybersecurity support technician, data analyst, network support specialist, tech project coordinator, and tech support specialist.

Dozens of employers from around the country – from Florida to California and Illinois to Texas – have launched Registered Apprenticeship programs in 2022 through CompTIA Apprenticeships for Tech. Some two dozen intermediaries – organizations with the expertise to help companies create a Registered Apprenticeship program – have also joined the program.

"Organizations are challenged by sourcing job candidates with the skills and certifications needed and jobs seekers struggle to enter technology fields," said Brett Shively, CEO, ACI Learning, an intermediary partner and U.S. Department of Labor approved Registered Apprenticeship Program organization that has worked with employer partners, including companies such as Colorado-based K3 Technology and Texas-based Juern Technology, to establish a direct pathway to employment.

"Technology apprenticeship programs help bridge that gap and we are excited to help make a positive impact on employment outcomes for our students," Shively added.

In October U.S. employers posted job openings for 317,000 positions in a variety of technology occupations, including IT support specialists (23,981 job postings) and IT project managers (19,685).1 Similarly, in the 12-month period ending in September 2022, there were 769,736 openings for cybersecurity positions or jobs requiring cybersecurity skills.2

"We can demonstrate to employers of any size and from any industry that by investing in training through apprenticeships they can gain access to a diverse pool of candidates and create a predictable pipeline to meet their tech hiring needs," Kardel said.

The U.S. Department of Labor selected AIR, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of education, health and the workforce, and CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the IT industry and workforce, to serve as a national Industry Intermediary for expansion of apprenticeship in tech occupations.