MEMBER POST: REDEFINE THE TERM “HIGHER EDUCATION”
In founding our apprenticeship program, Techtonic Academy, we set out to redefine the meaning of higher education. Long before it was acceptable to openly question the value of a four-year degree, our founder foresaw a shift in public sentiment toward college. Now, as of 2019, a number of iconic tech firms, including Google, IBM, and Apple have followed in our footsteps. While we don’t envision a world where traditional higher education becomes obsolete, we do see one where top-tier talent will increasingly choose alternative forms of learning such as apprenticeship programs, community college, online courses, and trade schools.
The American Spectator bolsters our position with the following: “In recent years, the focus on encouraging high school students to pursue higher education has increased… In itself, this encouragement of education is laudable. But, the problem lies in the execution of this encouragement. The focus on higher education is actually one on four-year colleges. These schools are not the best fit for every student, and they also do not turn out graduates equipped for every available job.”
We believe this intentional herding of high school students toward a four-year college is one of the leading causes of today’s workforce talent shortage. US News says in the past federal support for alternative education “was limited because of concerns that young people would choose apprenticeships that led to menial jobs rather than enter conventional degree programs.” Unfortunately, this systemic force-feeding has created a culture that glorifies college to the detriment of alternative learning options.
Thankfully, however, from local municipalities to the federal government, the tide is quickly changing across the nation. For example, in our article titled “Apprenticeships – Disrupting Higher Education,” we discussed a mayor’s bid to persuade a German company to open a software apprenticeship in the city of Birmingham, Alabama. In our piece titled “2019 Top Trends in Technology Apprenticeships,” we discussed ongoing efforts at the federal level. As highlighted in the article, in 2017, the Trump administration signed a $200 million education plan aimed at training 5 million apprentices. The following year Congress passed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, a $1.2 billion investment that “creates new opportunities to improve career and technical education.” Earlier this year, the Department of Veteran Affairs launched its own initiative designed “to give veterans another opportunity to use nontraditional training like coding boot camps to access jobs in information technology, computer software, information science, media applications, data processing, and computer programing fields.”
TECHTONIC – PIONEERING APPRENTICESHIPS FOR SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT
The Techtonic Academy has been identified by the United States Department of Labor as a leading destination for students interested in software engineering and development as a career. Our goal is to completely disrupt the status quo that has left so many with crippling debt and uncertain employment opportunities. Unlike traditional higher education where most students require tens-of-thousands in loans, our participants earn a living wage from the very start. In addition, our hands-on approach enables our students to gain real-world experience while developing code for actual clients. Once our students complete the program they become prime candidates for entry-level positions with client firms as well as our in-house development team.
Though there is still a long road ahead, we are proud of the work we have accomplished thus far in our quest to redefine the term higher education.
AUTHOR – Nate Aswege
If you’re interested in learning more about Techtonic, please CONTACT US today! Techtonic is the premier partner for developing onshore, commercial-grade software. We’ve also developed a unique method to simultaneously close the talent gap that exists within technology, by tapping into a new and highly diverse workforce. Our model is pioneering the way clients develop and hire top talent, and we’d love to work with you!