Encouraging our New Tech Workforce

Posted: Updated:

For the past ten years, I’ve worked at the same tech company, and I joke that this might be some sort of record for a Millennial. In that time, I have watched Indiana’s tech landscape grow rapidly and become more robust. In fact, across our state, there are thousands of tech jobs available right now. Wouldn’t it be amazing, if the forty thousand students graduating from high school in the next month, were to stay in Indiana and fill these tech jobs?

Like many developers, I was self-taught. When I was a kid, I loved playing video games. When I became bored with the rules, I began making my own rules and would figure out how to modify and hack the code. While at Ben Davis High School, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to compete in a web application development competition held through Business Professionals of America. My sporting goods e-commerce platform captured second place at Nationals. It was through one of the instructors that I learned about Axia Technology Partners (AxitTP), and I started working with there when I was just 17 years old.

Working part-time at AxiaTP, while developing Kerauno (now a company, at the time Kerauno was a software platform) and taking college courses, I realized that I was learning more on the job than in class. Fortunately, my employer didn’t think it was necessary for me to have a college degree, which meant that I didn’t have to incur additional student loan debt. My personal experience is why I’m passionate about alternatives to college—especially in tech.

Kudos to our state for supporting opportunities for students interested in pursuing a career in tech that isn’t the traditional college pathway. Engagement with area employers, internship opportunities, and job shadowing are offered through many high schools now. Those interested in tech should be aware that becoming engaged in the tech landscape no longer requires a traditional college degree. Fortunately, many large technology companies across the country have eliminated their four-year degree requirement for hiring.

Faster pathways to a career in tech can happen right out of high school through Kenzie Academy or Eleven Fifty Academy.  If these schools were an option when I was in high school, I would have considered them heavily against a traditional college education. Three months spent learning a new coding language, which would bootstrap me to enter the workforce directly, is something that any recent high school graduate should consider.

In my opinion, colleges are ideal for professions with a knowledge base in areas that don’t change dramatically overnight. Tech, however, changes so rapidly that curriculum cannot possibly keep up, for the traditional college curriculum review process takes way too long. The boot camps, through their relationships with employers, understand precisely the type of expertise businesses need and what will get their graduates a job.

My career path was nontraditional, and hopefully, embracing such a way becomes another option for recent graduates trying to decide if college is really the right choice.

So much of what software developers need to know is learned on the job. Rapid training followed by getting into the trenches of the tech workforce is what is helping young developers produce incredible products and services that are changing the world for the better.

  • Perspectives

    • What’s Your Biggest Waste of Money?

      Americans are in the age of reducing waste. There’s a big push to purchase sustainable products, reduce our usage of plastics, and recycle. But has this trend carried over to our personal finances?  Not really.  In a study by The Ascent, the financial expertise arm of The Motley Fool, more than 60 percent of respondents felt they have wasteful financial tendencies. Why is that?

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • POET ethanol co. announced in Aug 2019 it was closing the plant in Cloverdale. (photo courtesy: POET)

      Cloverdale Ethanol Plant Closes

      South Dakota-based POET LLC, the nation’s largest biofuels producer, is moving forward with a plan to shut down its biorefining plant in Cloverdale, leaving 50 Hoosiers without jobs effective Friday. The company tells Inside INdiana Business that it is not making any changes to the plans announced two months ago. 

    • (Image of downtown Shelbyville courtesy of Mainstreet Shelbyville Inc.)

      Shelbyville Unveils Major Downtown Redevelopment

      The city of Shelbyville is announcing what it calls a major downtown redevelopment project to boost overall quality of life. The project plans feature green spaces, increased parking, market-rate housing, and infrastructure for public entertainment and community events. 

    • (IIB Photo/Joe Ulery)

      Neighborhood Concerned About Old GM Site, Too

      As the city of Indianapolis and Ambrose Property Group squabble about the future of the old GM Stamping plant site in downtown Indy, a fight that could end up in court, residents who live near the property are weighing in with their concerns. Jay Napoleon, president of The Valley Neighborhood Association, says it’s important the mixed-use vision for the property remain intact. Napoleon and Ambrose Property Group Vice President Mali Simone Jeffers talked about the future of...

    • What’s Your Biggest Waste of Money?

      Americans are in the age of reducing waste. There’s a big push to purchase sustainable products, reduce our usage of plastics, and recycle. But has this trend carried over to our personal finances?  Not really.  In a study by The Ascent, the financial expertise arm of The Motley Fool, more than 60 percent of respondents felt they have wasteful financial tendencies. Why is that?

    • The IU School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering will now be named for Fred Luddy for his $60M gift. (photo courtesy James Brosher/IU)

      $60M Gift to Fund AI Center

      An Indiana University alumnus who founded the information technology firm, ServiceNow, has given his alma mater $60 million to establish an artificial intelligence center. The university says the gift from cloud-computing pioneer Fred Luddy is the second largest in the history of the IU.