Tech apprenticeship programs are on the rise primarily due to the high cost of college education, with more students opting to skip the proverbial student debt trap on their way into tech careers.
- In the United States, 33.8% of college graduates work in roles that don’t require a college degree; learners could easily avert this underemployment crisis if they simply opted to take apprenticeship programs in the first place.
- The average entry-level apprentice makes $37,107 annually, which is significantly higher than the $29,250 the average intern makes in the United States.
- Over 60% of hiring managers in US tech firms believe that implementing an apprenticeship development program will help businesses prepare for labor market disruption and future innovations.
If you are looking to get into the tech industry, you may have to decide on which route to pursue, the traditional college degree or a technology apprenticeship program. Tech apprenticeship programs equip with technical training in hands-on experience by working under mentorship from tech sector experts.
Apprenticeship is often regarded as just an internship with extra steps, but it’s much more. It’s a chance to earn full wages and benefits while amassing knowledge often absent in traditional college degree programs.
Let’s take a detailed look into technology apprenticeship programs, what they are, their benefits, and the companies that offer tech apprenticeships.
What is a tech apprenticeship program?
Tech apprenticeship is a vocational training program whereby applied learning is delivered alongside the job role by an experienced employee. As a tech apprentice, you may be a novice, but you get to earn a wage while learning for free, ensuring that the relevant skills needed for the role are embedded along the way and tested with real-life experiences.
Unlike college degrees designed to impart critical thinking and cognitive skills, apprenticeship provides hands-on training for the specific tech role. This workforce development strategy bridges the skills gaps between the technology talent that the company needs and the new employees it’s hiring by equipping them with the right set of skills.
Most organizations prefer to retain their apprenticeship participants and upgrade them to full-employment status in under three years rather than hiring externally. After completing a technology apprenticeship, you may be eligible for an undergraduate degree, as it’s often considered as a pre-acceptance to pursue a bachelor’s degree in technology-related courses.
The benefits of tech apprenticeship
Full employment from the start
Technology apprenticeship programs are treated as full employment from day one; you get to earn a sizable salary and enjoy employee benefits including a monthly housing allowance.
Free on the job training
Technology apprenticeship is offered free of charge as the company assigns you to an experienced employee to guide you along the way. This is a great chance to learn tech skills while embedded in the actual role. The training makes it possible to develop relevant technical skills and have your knowledge tested with real-world scenarios each day at work.
Closing the skills gap in the tech industry
Organizations that offer technology apprenticeship programs benefit enormously as they get to close the skills gap between new hires and the existing technical demands of the job. Apprenticeships offer a fast pace learning model that can keep up with the tech transformation rate as the apprentice’s abilities evolve with each day of learning on the job. This allows organizations to be more proactive and strategic in terms of their hiring decision cutting down on unnecessary short-term hires.
Technology apprenticeship programs inspire loyalty between the organization and the apprentices. In fact, apprentices are twice as likely to stay in the organization compared to traditional direct hires. This loyalty is two ways the apprentice feels that the company cares for them, and the company can trust the apprentice to stay after training and even rise in employment ranking to keep the system going.
Less strict requirements
Unlike traditional hiring paths, technology apprenticeship programs are less strict in terms of eligibility requirements. The candidates need to demonstrate an interest in the tech field, and some roles may require one to complete a coding bootcamp or possess self-taught coding skills.
Technology companies that offer tech apprenticeships
As more tech companies adopt the apprenticeship model, they are looking for candidates with tech experience, and some may require basic coding skills and education qualifications. These programs provide unique career possibilities and hands-on responsibilities, which often vary depending on the role you are applying for. Here are some of the top tech companies that are offering tech apprenticeships;
The Build your future with Google tech entrepreneurship program is a great chance to work and study at Google. The opportunity offers real-world experience and the experience to earn a reasonable salary. Google is renowned for celebrating differences. As part of its mission to support a thriving employee population, it often offers the chance to work alongside its experienced workers and develop professional skills on the job.
The program requires strong academic performance, although there are no set levels of education. You must also possess transferable experience and the ability to write and speak English. Google pays hourly rates to enterprises for the time spent learning and studying on the job, with a minimum of 40 hours required per week.
Some of the tech apprenticeship programs at Google are in software engineering, data analyst, customer engineering, digital marketing, information technology, interactive media design, application development, data center technicians, and UX design. These range in duration from 12 months to 24 months, depending on the specific role.
An important point to note is that Google prefers apprenticeship candidates to have less than 12 months of learning experience in the field they are applying to. As a result, bachelor’s degree graduates are not eligible if they apply to the same field they studied, but you can apply if your degree differs from the field you are applying to. You can also apply to the program if you have less than six months of practical experience in the same field. This principle is meant to eliminate ingrained practices you may have acquired along the way through being hard to kick upon joining the apprenticeship program.
IBM’s new collar jobs program offers tech apprenticeships to apprentices with an appetite for learning tech skills. These positions don’t require any college degrees, just the determination to succeed. IBM apprenticeship programs are full-time learning and earning opportunities that are best for candidates with knowledge in the tech domain.
Apprentices get paired up with experienced IBMers who teach them technical skills in the digital world while also professionally mentoring them. Along the way, you get to collaborate and network with other departments in the multinational company. This is a great way to build your career in technology without having to go into the college route. The company offers apprenticeships to junior data analysts, IBM Z mainframe testers, application development, system administration, system programming, software engineers, and associate cloud consultant.
Most IBM apprenticeship programs run for more than 12 months, often leading to full-time employment. You get to receive over 300 hours of paid remote training in computer science fundamentals and technical skills.
In 2016 Accenture established the professional apprenticeship program in a bid to close the skills gap in the United States. The company partnered with the Chicago Apprentice Network, AON, and local enterprise employers to jumpstart the program, which now serves over 70 member organizations such as Mcdonald’s and Walgreens.
Having brought in over 2000 apprentices for external training in over 40 cities across the US, this program is a true testament to the power of apprenticeship. The organization offers promising careers in tech apprenticeship tracks to community college students. Accenture offers tech apprenticeship in artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud, project management, customer experience, technical account manager, cybersecurity, digital engineering, edge computing, and software engineering.
Accenture apprenticeship programs run for 12 months, during which participants train in technology and corporate IT while working on agile scrum teams. Beyond getting accredited, apprentices also earn associate degrees from local colleges, with many getting full-time employment in partner organizations.
The CompTIA tech apprenticeship allows businesses to develop a highly-skilled tech workforce with diverse talent pipelines. The programs make it easy for organizations to re-skill and upskill their workers while amplifying employee retention and engagement, leading to better results and increased productivity.
Apprentices under the CompTIA programs get to learn while they earn. This is the perfect opportunity to gain tech skills through on the job training and classroom-based learning. In the end, you get to transition into the tech career of your dreams while also obtaining CompTIA certifications which are industry-recognized.
CompTIA programs enhance career paths for students and increase their career development opportunities. The long-term effect is that employment gets shifted to competency-based skill attainment, which positively impacts the work environment. These programs bring fresh talent, ideas, and perspectives into workplaces while reinforcing a learning culture.
With CompTIA apprenticeship programs, you can build skills in IT, cybersecurity, tech support, network support, tech project coordination, and data analytics.
Woz enterprise apprenticeship program is a nationally registered organization seeking to bridge the gap in tech talent in the US while putting people back to work. The program brings together government regulatory approval in the form of the US Department of Labor, businesses, and education to develop a diverse tech talent pool.
A sizable number of tech careers don’t require a previous degree; this creates room for businesses to leverage tech apprenticeships that combine online learning with hands-on training. Apprentices in the Woz program can get entry-level IT jobs and earn college credits as they learn and earn. The registered apprenticeships program produces day-1-ready tech specialty skills and credentials which cuts down on the recruitment burden.
The Woz apprenticeship program offers various study programs in software development, data since, computer support, and cyber security.
Microsoft Leap is a tech apprenticeship program designed to recruit, upskill and develop unconventional talent for various roles in the technology industry. The program forges new tech career paths in Microsoft by leveraging the experience and skills of talent from other paths besides traditional academic paths.
The program kicks off with 16 weeks of immersive experience for apprentices to lay the base foundation in technical training. The trainees get to work in real teams within the organization dealing with Office365, Bing, Xbox, and Azure products. The new talent is expected to bring personal experiences and cognitive abilities and act as a change catalyst while they also learn practical skills in the tech world.
Microsoft Leap apprentices get to work under the mentorship of Azure specialists, business program managers, cloud solution architects, customer engineers, cybersecurity engineers, data analysts, product managers, software engineers, technical program managers, technical support engineers, and user experience designers.
The Meta apprenticeship program is a paid 18-month full-time work-and-learn program that seeks to develop tech skills among its new hires. The organization often considers apprentices who successfully finish this program for full-time employment opportunities. While the program is currently limited to its IT support, data science, and software engineering roles, there’s the possibility that it will eventually roll out the program to all tech roles.
Apprentices spend 80% of their work time on real projects which redefine Meta’s goals in connecting the world. The remaining 20% of the time is peasant on formal training in soft and technical skills required for the tech roles. This is often done by mentors and managers who also provide daily connection and support to the Meta culture and community.
Meta apprenticeships are available for second jobbers, school leavers, and career changers who are instructed in venturing into the tech sector. You must be passionate about solving problems, tech, and learning new concepts.
The tech sector is constantly evolving, which creates demand for skilled workers, but traditional hiring methods cannot keep up with this demand. Tech apprenticeships provide a practical approach to reducing the tech-skilled worker shortage while equipping apprentices with hands-on tech skills.
Apprenticeship programs provide organizations with a steady flow of highly skilled workforce trained by the organization’s top mentors to fill in the most in-demand roles without sacrificing on capabilities. Ultimately, the apprentice and the company develop a trustworthy relationship that takes both parties far in terms of career growth and labor sustainability.