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Tech Trends for 2024: More inclusive, skills-based hiring

“When it comes to careers in technology, HR departments and hiring managers have moved toward a skills-based hiring approach, where individual skills are clearly defined for job roles and candidates are evaluated on their expertise in those skills.”

That’s one of the conclusions of CompTIA’s analysis of the IT industry for 2024: more and more companies care what skills their employees have, rather than where or even whether they went to college.

The analysis, a survey of over 500 IT professionals conducted in October 2023, tracks trends in the tech industry for the year ahead, including for hiring and certification. This year it had a great deal to say about artificial intelligence (noting that the impact on productivity is real but anticipating that a lot of the hype will die down), but it had even more to say about the kind of training Calbright provides and the careers we help make accessible.

All Ages Can Apply For A Career in Tech

The first is a confirmation of a trend we’ve been talking about for years: the skills you have are increasingly more important than the degrees you have, as more and more employers are moving to skills-based hiring

But that’s just part of an equally welcome trend: increasingly, the skills you have are more important than the demographics you belong to. The tech industry has long been seen as a playground of the young. Now, CompTIA says, that’s finally changing. 

“Respondents report that the changing of the guard is well underway, alongside what they describe as an already balanced mix of early-, mid- and late-career practitioners working in the channel,” CompTIA notes. “Whether it’s filling the need for tech talent or innovating the latest tech product, an openness to multigeneration thinking makes good business sense.” 

If you have the right skills, coming into the tech industry in mid-life is a sound strategy. The door is opening wider. 

Help Wanted: More Cybersecurity and IT Jobs than Candidates

More than half of the companies CompTIA surveyed said that they are “experiencing a shortage of workers and have a challenge finding job candidates with the cybersecurity skills their organization currently needs.” 

It noted, “The competition for talent is fierce,” with a 28% increase in cybersecurity-related job openings over the past year. Literally hundreds of thousands of positions are going unfilled. 

That represents an incredible opportunity for people, of any age or background, who want to transition or advance their career into technology.

That’s not a new problem: IT and cybersecurity professionals are consistently in demand. Year after year, there are more positions than candidates.

How To Connect Working Adults To Better Careers

What the CompTIA report doesn’t go into is how to make these connections and fill these gaps: there are millions of working adults who are underemployed but have what it takes to succeed in these roles. All they need is training and career guidance – but conventional higher education doesn’t work for them. It’s too expensive, too time consuming, too inflexible for many who are juggling all of life’s competing priorities. 

That’s where Calbright comes in.  

Designed specifically to support the millions of “stranded workers” in California, Calbright is an accredited free online community college that offers fast and flexible college level training that can lead to certification in in-demand fields like IT Support, Cybersecurity, CRM Platform Administration, Data Analysis, and Network Technology

Students study on their own time, at their own pace: they can move more quickly through sections where they already have the skills, and take extra time whenever they need it. They have access to career services and counseling to help them best present their new skills to hiring managers and find the jobs they want. 

It’s a way working adults can access new careers in technology, take the risk out of college, and improve their lives on their terms. 

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