Monday, March 16, 2015

Tech Republic - New 'TechHire' initiative from the White House aims to get more Americans plugged into tech jobs

I talked about this initiative a few days ago.  Personally I think it is misguided and a stalking horse to push through more H1-B visas, but Tech Republic seems more positive about the program so I thought I would provide the link.

The initiative is multifaceted, but in general, aims to get more Americans, especially minorities and underserved populations, trained to fill tech jobs, like software development and cybersecurity, that can lead to a middle class lifestyle.
During a speech that day, President Obama cited 5 million open jobs, more than half a million of which in information technology fields.
"What's more, these tech jobs pay 50 percent more than the average private sector wage, which means they're a ticket into the middle class," Obama said.
Reed said bringing visibility to the issue might be one of the biggest benefits to come out of the initiative. 

Assuming that the White House has the correct approach to this issue it still bothers me that all the emphasis seems to be on things like Web Development.  The only programs I have seen announced are coding camps.

Where is the Cyber-Security training and the infrastructure training?  Infrastructure training especially.  Have you ever looked at what it costs to take a Cisco class or a VMware class?  Unless you happen to live near a community college that offers them, which are becoming fewer and fewer as near as I can tell, you are going to pay upwards of $3,000 for a 5 day class.  (more than $70/hr), and that isn't even for a live instructor.  That's an online class.

That's a huge cost barrier to entry into fields like Network Engineering or Network Design, but those fields are basically being ignored by this program.  It is at best an incomplete solution to the perceived problem.

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