Inspiring Success

A blog from Creating IT Futures

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October 20, 2015

Bridging the Trust Gap

By Lisa Fasold

CloseIt Charles Eaton (center), CEO, Creating IT Futures, spoke to employers, educators and
government leaders at the Close It Summit in D.C. on how to bridge the Trust Gap.
Do you need a four-year college degree for every job in IT? The answer is resoundingly no. But the issue, is how do we get employers and their HR departments to embrace that philosophy?

How do we bridge the Trust Gap and show employers that people with less than two years of experience can do the job if given the right training?

Dan Restuccia, chief analytics officer, Burning Glass, spoke at the Close It Summit in D.C. last week, “40 percent of IT help desk jobs require a bachelor’s degree, but no degree fits that job. So people that get hired in those jobs are often overqualified and are looking to leave or they don’t have the tech skills to do the job. Plus the help desk jobs that require a bachelor’s degree take 10 percent longer and cost 30 percent more to fill.”

“The most important skill anyone in IT needs is learning how to learn,” said Charles Eaton, CEO, Creating IT Futures, speaking on the panel with Restuccia. “Our IT-Ready career program trains people to learn, so that they are job-prepared.”

That learning attitude extends into every job sector. Jennifer McNelly, president, The Manufacturing Institutor, commented at the summit, “Education should be relevant to how you want to succeed in life. It doesn’t always mean a four-year degree.”

Burning Glass reported that IT is the fastest growing, high-paying job sector. It’s seen 17 percent job growth since 2010. Half of the IT jobs are in non-IT companies.

And how central is coding education needed for those IT jobs? Forty percent of the IT jobs open involve coding, but the other 60 percent are focused on IT infrastructure. Plus, while coding jobs tend to cluster around certain regions like Silicon Valley and New York City, IT infrastructure jobs are everywhere.

IT-Ready trains adults for IT infrastructure jobs. Eaton added, “We’re focused on helping adults and parents. If they can increase their wages and career prospects, they, in turn, can help the next generation succeed.” Matt Sigelman, CEO, Burning Glass, closed out the summit, saying, “Employers resort to degree inflation to get skills even if it takes longer to hire a four-year college graduate and costs them more. But degrees don’t always prove job readiness.”

Sigelman later asked the audience, “How do we challenge that?”

IT-Ready challenges that employer requirement by trying to bridge what Eaton called the “Trust Gap”.

“We work with employers to match our training to their needs and employers hire our graduates for a trial period. Our graduates almost always win them over during the trial period,” said Eaton. “Every employer who started with IT-Ready in Minneapolis in 2012 is still hiring from us today.”

“IT-Ready is designed around discipline. Our employer partners appreciate how dedicated our students are to their training and their careers. We tell our students that we want to be the toughest employer you’ll ever work for,” added Eaton.