BCS Encourages IT Career Adoption Through Technology Apprenticeships
Once upon a time in most parts of the world, one of the only ways to learn a new trade or skill was to become an apprentice to someone who already possessed that knowledge. Like a lot of old timey notions, the apprenticeship concept has, in retrospect, been both praised and disdained. Some are drawn to romantic notion of a learned master passing along his accumulated wisdom to a devoted disciple, while others look back and see a lazy old guy glutting himself on the back-breaking labors of the young.
Whichever view you favor, we can probably all agree that the future-focused realm of information technology is one of the last places one might expect to find a master-apprentice arrangment in 2015. There aren't enough tech workers to go around, however, and many have suggested that dusting off a seemingly antiquated educational model could be a productive and sensible means of swelling the global IT workforce.
The idea has particularly strong backing in Europe, where the British Computer Society is joining the drumbeat in favor of IT apprenticeships with a newly created program to train fledgling IT pros. The BCS is joining what's been branded the Digital Industry Trailblazer program — as in "You're not a uniquely skilled unpaid laborer, kid, you're a Digital Industry Trailblazer" — and will provide key professional assessment of the work done by participants in the program.
The Digital Industry Trailblazer initiative is backed by the U.K. government, and is in the final stages of launching its first two apprenticeship programs, for network engineers and software developers. Under the program, young IT pros will work for a technology company and receive essential experience and training that is often hard to come by through other means.
In announcing his support for the program, incoming BCS president Jos Creese blogged that the program provides a key foothold for aspiring IT professionals caught in the conundrum of needing training to get IT jobs, but not being able to get training without working in those jobs. "During my year as President of the BCS, I have chosen to encourage and to support initiatives that grow apprenticeships in IT, creating the next generation of IT professionals and BCS members," Creese writes.
As part of its sponsorship of the Digital Industry Trailblazer initiative, BCS will grant membership to all trailblazers during the term of their apprenticeship.