New Accelerate Tech Talent Initiative to Support Virginia Governor’s Plan to Bridge IT Skills Gap

On the heels of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s newly-announced plan to create 31,000 new computer science graduates over 20 years, ECPI University has launched an initiative of its own to support this effort. It’s called Accelerate Tech Talent Virginia.

“The Accelerate Tech Talent Virginia initiative will produce 3,000 more computer science graduates over the next 20 years, as its contribution to the Governor’s goal,” says ECPI University President Mark Dreyfus. “This means ECPI University will produce more than 18,000 graduates over the next 20 years.”

One reason why colleges and universities have difficulty attracting prospective students to computer science is because many lack confidence. “When we talk to both career switchers and high school students, we find that many see computer science as a very attractive career path, but they doubt their own abilities,” says ECPI University Dean of Computer and Information Science Dr. Keith Morneau. “They worry about doing the math, not realizing that much of the curriculum revolves around critical thinking and problem solving.  We’ve had countless graduates who first came to us with these same doubts and have gone on to thrive in their careers.”

To help prospective students overcome these concerns, ECPI University is launching a series of IT Confidence Camps where they can gain a deeper understanding of the profession and go through a series of basic exercises designed to measure their aptitude for such programs as Cyber and Network Security and Software Development. Other elements of Accelerate Tech Talent Virginia include:

  • Scholarships for students who commit to work in Virginia for at least two years following graduation
  • Outreach programs for high school and military bases
  • Partnerships with employers
  • Subsidized vouchers for students and graduates pursuing professional certifications

“This is a winning proposition for everyone involved,” says Mark Dreyfus. “Employers have access to a larger pool of talent, and graduates have the opportunity to elevate themselves into well-paying careers. This investment will come from ECPI University and our Partner companies.”

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