With an estimated one million jobs going unfilled in the tech sector annually, the talent shortage is well documented not only for tech companies, but all companies looking to thrive in the world of digital business. At Wizeline, we believe that while talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not. With this in mind, we are tackling the tech talent shortage and expanding opportunity simultaneously.
In a recent blog post, we outlined how Wizeline Academy provides the “last mile” of tech education to help fill the talent gap and increase opportunity for folks interested in a career in software development, UX design, technical writing, and other disciplines. To date, more than 25,000 students have graduated from Wizeline Academy’s 200+ learning programs.
Now, we are taking the mission of Academy to the next level with the Wizeline Apprenticeship Program while helping our customers — some of the world’s most well-known brands — fill critical roles and solve their challenges in the process. Read on to learn more about the program, explore a success story, and discover how to get involved.
Wizeline Apprenticeship Program Goals
Piloted in 2021, the Wizeline Apprenticeship Program is an ongoing initiative designed to meet three main goals:
- Help customers solve their unique technology challenges
- Train and upskill the next generation of engineers for the industry
- Increase diversity & inclusion in the tech industry
First, let’s cover goals two and three. Regarding goal two, like any apprenticeship program, ours is focused on helping recent college grads and emerging engineers improve their skills, gain practical experience, and advance in their careers. Currently, the program is focused on creating opportunities across different disciplines: Data, SRE, Software Engineering, and Mobile. While we are exploring other disciplines for the program, we have developed the most training around these specializations, bringing many clients and partners into the fold to ensure the training is relevant and comprehensive.
By the end of 2020, we had initiated the following apprenticeship programs:
- Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) Apprenticeship
- Data Apprenticeship
- Mobile Apprenticeship
Regarding the third goal of increasing diversity and inclusion in our industry, it’s worth noting that 35% of apprentices enrolled in the program are women — a big improvement on the estimated 13% of engineers who are women today. We have also focused on expanding the program across geographies and universities that may not be as privileged or well-known.
Now, let’s take a look at how the Wizeline Apprenticeship Program is fulfilling goal one: helping our customers solve their challenges.
Success Story: Apprentices Rise to Become Full-time Data Engineers
In early 2021, the first cohort of data engineering apprentices completed the three-month program. 10 of the 12 participants were staffed full-time on client projects, and three of them joined the team working with a leading media company.
After three months of full-time work on the media customer’s account, these three data engineers have demonstrated the various benefits of the program: from the business value generated for the customer to the personal growth and professional development of the apprentice. Specifically, we uncovered the following benefits:
- The media company has its specific tech stack with various quirks and a significant learning curve, which means they also need engineers with a particular skill set. By learning and practicing many new skills working on the tech stack, the apprentices became domain experts organically, making them indispensable assets who could meet the client’s high standards.
- The apprentices were able to significantly improve the technical depth of the products they worked on, clearing all the nice-to-have backlog aspects of projects training exercises and getting to the skill level where they could also work on enhancements.
- By shifting requirements to take on engineers from the apprenticeship program, the client could increase hiring agility and fill critical roles/scale faster.
Of course, the apprentices also benefited greatly from the program, accelerating their careers.