- Nearly 60% of U.S. community college students in a recent survey said they want to pursue in-demand tech jobs ranging from app developer to cybersecurity analyst, according to research from Accenture. But there's a disconnect that may prevent employers from finding these potential candidates, the research revealed.
- While the students and their counselors both ranked apprenticeships as one of the top pathways to those careers, participation in and awareness of them are low, Accenture said. More than half of the students said they were not aware of apprenticeship programs, and only 8% had participated in one.
- "If U.S. employers scaled the apprentice model to their in-demand tech jobs, we could accelerate the pace at which we close the skills gap and improve our country's long-term competitiveness," said Jimmy Etheredge, Accenture's chief executive for North America, in a statement.
The apprenticeship model is being viewed with renewed interest by both employers and governments. In addition to others' efforts, the Trump administration has proposed an overhaul of the nation's apprenticeship model. Some have voiced concerns, however; one network, for example, said that while it agreed with the administration that more employer participation is needed, a proposed plan could fragment the national system.
Employers, for their part, have been applying the model in new ways. Companies such as Mailchimp, Adobe and CVS Health have used the programs in health care, cybersecurity, engineering and more, according to a report the Institute for Workplace Skills & Innovation America released earlier this year. Even the insurance industry has found a use for the model, expanding its pool of trained talent.
Businesses looking to make use of apprenticeships will likely need some partners, experts previously told HR Dive, and a community college can be a good place to start, both for sourcing candidates and for spreading the word about a program's availability.