After failing three times on the CompTIA A+ course certification test, Brown passed in 2017. “As soon as I got that certification, put it on LinkedIn, put it on my resume and started submitting my resume… people started calling me about jobs,” Brown said. speak. “[It was] a shock”. Currently, Brown is an IT specialist at Hive Group, a business consulting firm in Virginia. With a few IT certifications in his toolbox, he’s got six more. While many IT professionals will likely be IT professionals still going to college, the path to certification continues to gain popularity as success stories like Brown’s pervades the workforce.
Not all roads to technology follow a straight line from computer science programs to a full-time job.
For Tory Brown, an IT certification allows him to explore an area he might never have had without the opportunity to self-study after graduate school. Brown graduated from Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia with a degree in communications in 2013. After graduating, Brown wasn’t sure what to do next.
After several months of weighing his options, Brown decided to get a computer certification because he felt he was quite tech-savvy.
By 2022, just over half of 18- to 24-year-old developers have learned to code from online courses and certifications, according to a Stack Overflow survey. This number drops to a third of respondents aged 55 to 64 and even less for those over 65. “I think the standard route to becoming a developer through a four-year degree, will largely disappear over the next 20 years,” said Nathan Sutter, CoderPad’s global vice president of engineering. “It’s weird just because I started when everyone had to have a computer science degree to be considered”.
Comparing the number of jobs requiring at least a bachelor’s degree from 2017 to 2021, Google, Apple and Accenture reduced their demand, according to the report. IBM saw a slight growth in degree requirements from 2017 to 2021, but the percentage is still much lower than others in the industry. This trend even reached the Federal Procurement Policy Office last January. The public body has issued a statement reminding agencies of the “old-fashioned requirement” to limit degree requirements in favor of skills when hiring IT professionals.
There is an imbalance in the tech industry, where the demand for talent outstrips the supply. As a result, employers have adjusted their approach to attracting tech talent. Whether it’s a raise or a culture improvement, these retention fixes will only work if the underlying talent supply problem is addressed. Many industry giants have begun phasing out degree requirements to appeal to a broader demographic. Amazon, Accenture, IBM, and HP all have fields where degree requirements are below the national average, according to a 2021 Burning Glass Institute report.