Video shows how charities can close IT skills gap

Providing opportunities to retrain untapped talent can help boost ranks of technologists.

James Hayes | 8th May 18
Image of Greg Bartell who features in a video documentary about how he began a sustainable career in IT thanks to training and job experience through IT-Ready, the charitable arm of CompTIA.

A new online documentary video by two third-sector bodies shows how initiatives to help people with untapped technology skills are increasingly important for a strong workforce.

Cracking the Code follows Greg Bartell as he transitioned from a dead-end job in retail to a sustainable career in IT (information technology). It was thanks to enrolment in the IT-Ready programme from Creating IT Futures, the charitable arm of IT industry association CompTIA.

The four-minute documentary was produced by WorkingNation – a non-profit campaign working to expose hard truths about a looming unemployment crisis in the US – in association with Creating IT Futures.

In Cracking the Code, we learn how Greg Bartell found the free training and job experience through IT-Ready that allowed him to develop technology skills and break-in to the expanding IT workplace. He is now employed as a Network Operations Center Team Lead for global technology solutions provider Atomic Data.

“When I heard that I was going to be accepted into the programme, it was a really awesome moment,” said Bartell. “I felt like I had won the lottery. It was the first time that I felt like I was going to be in a career that I could thrive in in my entire life.”

WorkingNation’s filmmaking crew documented Bartell’s training in the Creating IT Futures programme and explored how and why initiatives like it are so important to closing the skills gap and diversifying the talent pool in the IT sector around the world.

In the past 12 months, more than 2.8 million IT jobs and 375,000 cyber-security jobs were posted online in the US alone.

To meet current market demands, the current cyber-security workforce would have to double, and the number of vacancies is expected to triple by 2022. Many of those openings will be with charities, non-governmental organisations, and not-for-profit bodies.

“There is a major technology skills gap problem that has been identified in IT, and it feels like we are going to walk off of a cliff if we do not find a way to fill these roles,” said Adam Turner, Senior Director of Training Program Operations at CompTIA. “By bringing in folks that are under-represented, we can fill that gap by providing them the skills and training for a sustainable career.”