COVID-19 and the shift to remote work has created a pressing need for digital skills and computing expertise. A recent KPMG study found that the technology skills shortage is at its highest level since 2008. With many businesses investing billions into retraining programs, few are addressing the deeper pipeline problem of preparing students for these in-demand digital jobs. Today’s students need hands-on, practical instruction that they can immediately apply to their careers.
This is a massive challenge that can’t be fully addressed by business or academia alone, especially when it comes to fast-evolving industries like technology. At Gannon University, we’re tackling this challenge head-on and heavily investing to prepare our students for the jobs of the future. Here are three things we’ve learned in the process to serve as tips for other educational institutions.
Partner with the private sector
As part of our efforts, we formed a partnership with networking provider Extreme Networks that will see $12 million invested over the next 10 years to elevate the delivery of Gannon’s undergraduate cybersecurity and cyber engineering programs. We will also bring new professional training opportunities to northwestern Pennsylvania and equip Gannon’s Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge, or I-HACK, with state-of-the-art technology. Extreme was the first company to commit to being housed in the I-HACK’s third-floor “Hatchery,” a collaborative space where industry experts will work directly with Gannon students and faculty.