Washington, D.C. – October 24, 2018 – CompTIA today announced the launch of the Center for Tech Workforce Solutions (CTWS), a new think tank dedicated to both expanding and diversifying the technology workforce by helping every American understand that a tech career is available to them, regardless of background and educational level.

CTWS’ initial focus will be working with industry, educators, government and non-profits to achieve two goals:

  • Overcome the so-called Confidence Gap, a barrier that leads to many Americans not pursuing a tech career, either because they don’t believe they have the skills, weren’t encouraged to do so, or never considered it because they don’t have a family connection or mentor that makes a technology career seem attainable.
  • Demonstrate that technology careers are available to any American, regardless of education or skill level. This effort will particularly focus on showing tech pathways for high school graduates.

Through these initiatives, CTWS can strengthen the economy by providing career paths that benefit Americans and help fill the 1.8 million tech jobs projected to be unfilled through 2024, which will strengthen both the economy and competitiveness of U.S.-based companies.

“One of the greatest challenges to the global economy is the future of the workforce. We face monumental challenges, real and imagined. Too many Americans think a tech career is out of their reach,” said David Hyman, President of the CTWS. “Our goal is to demonstrate that it is not.”

The CTWS launch comes after nearly a year of consultation with experts across industry, education, government and non-profits as well as extensive research into the challenges and opportunities facing the technology industry and the entire nation. Through its research, CTWS found that:

  • Seven in 10 Americans aged 18-34 cite confidence as a factor that contributes to discouragement, which may hinder someone taking the first step towards a career in technology. Of those who said they would consider technology as a career report receiving encouragement at significantly higher rates than those that have not (74 percent vs. 18 percent).
  • Among the 18-34 age group, men were much more likely to report receiving encouragement to pursue a tech career. Fifty-four percent of men said they were encouraged, compared to just 38 percent of women.
  • Two in 5 Americans don’t believe that tech workers look like them. Digging deeper finds that a gender gap exists. While 52 percent of males said tech workers look like them, only 33 percent of females said the same.
  • Popular culture and media contribute to reinforcing technology as a career for men. Only slightly more than 1 in 3 Americans (38 percent) said popular culture and the media portray technology as a career for women (6 percent) or a career for both men and women (32 percent). A majority (55 percent) said they portray technology as just a career for men.
  • Many Americans don’t have a strong family connection to a technology career. Thirty-five percent said they don’t have either an immediate family member (such as a parent or sibling) or non-immediate family member (such as an aunt or uncle) who works in a technology career.

As part of its research, CompTIA did two online surveys, one of 1,000 Americans aged 18-34 focused particularly on the Confidence Gap and another of 2,058 Americans focused on perceptions of whether the tech industry looks like them. For more information on the research, please go to https://ctwsolutions.org/.

The research and outreach to experts positions CTWS to take an active role in shaping the future of programs designed to expand the technology workforce. “CTWS intends to tackle these issues head-on by working with educators to introduce students to technology careers at a young age, by partnering with industry groups to recruit workers of all ages, and providing the research that demonstrates why public-private partnerships that support apprenticeships and other entry points into technology are worthwhile investments,” said Hyman.

CTWS will work closely with CompTIA, which has a deep history in preparing Americans for tech careers. CompTIA has provided millions of certifications to tech workers and AITP provides resources and services for tech workers and would-be tech workers to enter the industry, grow their careers and network.

About the Center for Tech Workforce Solutions

CTWS is a 501c(3) dedicated to finding solutions that create technology career opportunities for all Americans, regardless of background or education level. CTWS partners with industry, educators, government leaders and non-profits to grow the tech workforce. For more information, please go to https://www.ctwsolutions.org/.