April 19th, 2012 by SteveS
I met Ryan a couple of months ago and wrote about him and Team Treehouse for this CNBC.com article. Treehouse creates and delivers Web development and Web programming courses online. So far, thousands have been through his program and, from the vote of confidence from this investment, looks like thousands more will be joining the Treehouse program.
Ryan and his team are one shining example of how to close the Skills Gap.
Today, there are millions of Americans out of work. Millions more are underemployed. And yet, here in the IT world, there are millions of unfilled jobs at companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and, well, just about everywhere.
Why? Because we simply don’t have enough skilled workers with the technical training they need to be successful in the current job market.
Ryan and Treehouse are out to change that. Congratulations!
And you can read more about this here on TechCrunch.
April 10th, 2012 by dennis
A story in yesterday’s New York Times says that federal funds to train people are drying up. Frankly, if we’re only depending on the federal government to solve the problem we’re all in big trouble. Training workers to bridge the skills gap is going to take a joint effort between government investment and business and, to some degree, higher education.
Hopefully that kind of co-operative effort can happen soon. But the programs in place today don’t solve the problem because they often go to the wrong places for the wrong people for the wrong reasons.
On the other hand, companies like Entelligence IT offer training and development today. For example, we offer free NetApp training, free HDS (Hitachi) training, free Citrix training and free CommVault training to those who qualify. Even so, it’s not enough. This training can often cost small companies like ours $50,000 per employee in the first 3 months. And, there’s no guarantee that the employee will be ready to work right away.
The old model is outdated and broken. Hardware and software companies need people to support their products. And companies like ours are dependent on our partners to provide that training. However, the cost model is prohibitive to make any meaningful dent in hiring and training people who are experts in their technology.
I’m working hard to convince these companies to change their thinking – to give away their training for free or, at least make it affordable now. I believe that hardware and software companies who open up their training to the masses will create a wellspring of passionate evangelists for their products. And this in turn will generate even more sales of both products and services.
In the meantime, we continue to offer NetApp jobs, Citrix jobs, Hitachi Data System jobs, CommVault jobs, and others every week. High paying prestigious jobs that we hope to fill soon with qualified and capable team members.
April 4th, 2012 by dennis
The employment statistics for most of Europe are dismal. In Spain and Greece, almost half of all individuals under the age of 25 are unemployed. Yet, Germany has the highest rate of youth employment in all of Europe. So, what are they doing differently?
A story on NPR today may give us a clue. It tells the story of a young man who has always been interested in airplanes and flying. He couldn’t be a pilot, so he chose to do the next best thing and become a mechanic. He is currently being trained by Lufthansa, and he is being paid about a third of the going rate for jet engine mechanics while he learns. He isn’t PAYING to be trained, he is being PAID. He loves going to school every day and working on real engines that fly real airplanes. He’s on a deadline every day and learns from a “Training Buddy”, an experienced jet engine mechanic.
This apprenticeship system, with its roots in the middle ages, seems to be working. In fact 60% of German students choose vocational training over academic training after graduating high school. And even with this kind of success and enthusiasm, they are still having trouble finding enough qualified people to to meet the demands of their growing economy.
Here in the U.S. we also face a critical shortage of qualified workers to fill all the positions available in several industries. Could a systemic change like apprenticeships help us close the skills gap in the U.S.?
Something certainly needs to be done. We at Entelligence IT understand the issue and see it firsthand every day. We are always looking for qualified people to take high paying jobs. We currently have openings for Hitachi jobs, CommVault jobs, Citrix jobs, NetApp jobs, EMC jobs, and others.
To read more or to hear a podcast of the NPR story, click here….
March 29th, 2012 by dennis
So, I’m reading a story today that ran in this week’s Seattle Times about how students interested in science and mathematics can win a STEM scholarship for $1000. While I’m all for incentivizing people, I think it helps if you first understand what you’re trying to do, and what you want the outcome to be.
Offering students $1000 to make them care about science and mathematics to fill in the Skills Gap is like trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon. It’s going to take a while and I’m probably not going to live long enough see the results.
Let’s take a minute and stack the 1000 bucks up against some other numbers that matter. Seventeen million Americans have finished college and are currently doing jobs that do not require a degree. That means your local Barrista with a Bachelor of Arts in English lit is likely making your espresso right next to someone with only a high school education.
For the first time in history we owe more on college loans than we owe on credit card debt. We owe 828 BILLION dollars in student loan debt. A thousand dollars isn’t going to go far there, is it?
There are 3-4 million jobs in the high tech business that are not being filled. My industry is growing by a factor of 50 while the number of people with the skills to do those jobs grows by a factor of only 1.5.
There’s an elephant in the room that I think has to be addressed before we can really get down to business and solve the problem: College is not for everyone, and if higher education was the cure, we’d have more people prepared for the new world we live in.
Instead, the skills gap continues to grow. The number of high school kids bored and dropping out is on the rise. And, our answer is to give them $1000 scholarship toward an education that will likely cost them 100 times that much, if not more.
I see it firsthand every day. We at Entelligence IT have jobs that pay very well available with or without a college degree. We are looking to hire people every week for NetApp jobs, CommVault jobs, Citrix jobs, and others that pay from $70,000-$170,000 a year. And yet we have a tough time filling those positions for the simple reason that there just aren’t enough people qualified to do the work.
The good news? There are new ideas being developed for education that will allow people to follow their passions and learn skills that they can use NOW to make a living and change the world a bit. Sites like Skillshare.com, Udemy.com, Treehouse.com , CodeAcademy.org, and others have figured out how to dispense and share information that matters in a cost effective and timely way.
I wish them all the best, because frankly I think we’re going to need a major overhaul and it’s probably going come from out-of-the-box thinkers who see the breadth and depth of the problem and are willing to try new methods to find one or more that work.
March 2nd, 2012 by dennis
Mason Jones is one of my heroes.
Growing up in rural Georgia, Mason didn’t do well in school – or, as he puts it, “I barely got out of high school”. His big plan after graduation was to go to work for the tractor trailer manufacturer on the assembly line where he would do intense, manual labor every day. After a year on the job, Mason had an epiphany. “I decided,” he says, “to work with my mind. And, I wasn’t even sure what that meant at the time, but I was willing to find out.”
How do we make it easy and affordable for people to get the training they need now? And, how do we scale the solution so we can make huge progress now, not small steps over decades?