- Education technology company 2U will offer scholarships of $2,500 each to "Black, Latino, and Indigenous learners, as well as women," to attend online technical training programs. According to the company’s June 10 statement, it will provide the scholarships, totaling $3 million, to candidates demonstrating "both need and merit." 2U said the program is specifically for individuals from underrepresented groups enduring financial hardship or who lost their jobs.
- The scholarships can be used for more than 100 programs spanning digital marketing, data analytics, coding, fintech and more. The programs are offered by more than 30 universities partnered with 2U, including Columbia Engineering, The George Washington University, University of Pennsylvania, Rice University, University of California Berkeley, University of North Carolina and Vanderbilt University. For many, the program is offered by an extension school or school of professional studies.
- "As the economic impact of the pandemic continues to unfold, millions of people have seen their livelihoods disappear overnight, with people of color and women disproportionately affected. Many of these jobs — especially in sectors already at risk of automation — aren’t coming back," 2U Co-Founder and CEO Christopher "Chip" Paucek said. "This scholarship fund removes barriers for workers who are traditionally underrepresented in the tech industry by increasing the affordability of top university boot camps across 2U’s network."
Job losses are likely to continue in the wake of the pandemic, even as offices reopen. Though the unemployment rate may no longer be in rapid freefall, business leaders still have mixed opinions about future hiring decisions. With many organizations enacting hiring freezes, along with pay reductions and other financial measures, hiring to support growth may feel a long way away.
For those who have been laid off or furloughed, a perilous job hunt awaits. In an environment where significantly fewer jobs are available, many who are jobless are unsure how their skills translate to finding another job in this new work environment. A LiveCareer survey found that 57% of those recently unemployed are unable to identify transferable skills and 58% are unsure how to communicate transferable skills on their resume.
As multiple experts told HR Dive, some employers are providing outplacement services to laid-off employees that include, at the very least, information pertinent to future opportunities. Guild Education, an education benefits provider, has shifted its strategy to incorporate learning as an outplacement service, whereas before it was primarily offering learning benefits as a way to stand out in a competitive labor market.
Coding schools and other bootcamp style programs have grown to the point where some of the most successful ones are now working in partnership with corporate entities for expansive upskilling programs. Trilogy Education is one, having been acquired by 2U in 2019. Many of these bootcamp providers say they see themselves as part of the solution to the big labor market upskilling challenge that existed even before the COVID-19 pandemic.