When you hear the word “tech” in the news, it almost always, as in this article, means “software”. Not sure we needed to invent a redundant term for “software”.

Employers are struggling to find the skilled workers they need. Paid, on-the-job training could transform the workforce for good.

Source: The Tech Labor Shortage Is Only Set to Grow. These Companies Think Apprenticeships Are the Answer

Along the way, much software development has been simplified. What were once “computer programmers” or “software engineers” were dumbed down to “coders”. “Coders” can learn sufficient skills in six month “boot camps” or apprenticeship programs.

Apprenticeships appears to have similarities to internships, which can also smooth the hiring process by sponsoring companies. Apprenticeships have been used in many fields, especially outside the U.S. You do not need to sit in a college classroom to learn – learning can take place anywhere.

Most software jobs today are skilled blue collar-like jobs[1] and do not require a 4-year degree. “Boot camp” and apprenticeship programs recognize this.

The common abbreviation STEM stands for Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics. In almost all situations where someone references STEM they are really referring to the T which has become a substitute for software development skills.

When it is said that not enough women are in STEM fields, they really mean “T”, not STEM. In fact, per National Science Foundation data, women are just over 50% of those in all STEM fields – which includes fields like biology, veterinary medicine, psychology and more. For more than 3 decades, more women than men attend 4 year college programs so this is not that surprising.

[1] Programming web sites in Javascript, data analysis in Python, and web sites in PHP, with a bit of SQL knowledge thrown in. Similarly, app development for iOS or Android does not require a 4 year degree. There are, of course, advanced positions that require greater skills – such as developing machine learning algorithms, image analysis, and complex modeling (heavy on math) and these likely require a graduate degree. But applying machine learning to a problem doesn’t require this degree of skill – its just a library of code today.

By EdwardM