Bridging the Tech Skills Gap: Empowering Communities Through Programming

Table Of Content

Programming skills and other highly demanded skills, such as data science, play a crucial role in driving technological progress and enhancing business competitiveness. However, the scarcity of tech talent remains a significant challenge in most countries, resulting in a deficit of engineers, programmers, and other tech professionals. The competition for these skilled candidates has intensified as companies across industries strive to secure the best talent. While some countries have implemented policies to address this issue, there is still a pressing need for IT companies to take on a more active role in creating and nurturing tech careers.

The Role of IT Companies in Fostering Tech Talent:

IT companies play a pivotal role in addressing the shortage of tech talent. With their industry knowledge and capabilities, they are ideally positioned to lead and sponsor programs that create new career opportunities in the technology sector. While some companies have already taken steps in this direction, many initiatives tend to focus on specialized boot camps and training programs to fulfill their own development needs. However, few initiatives proactively inspire young people to choose tech careers from an early age.

Introducing Cognitus - Empowering Communities Through Programming:

One remarkable project that exemplifies the social responsibility of IT companies in nurturing talent is Cognitus, an NGO promoted by by AtlanticSoft and BetterWay Devs, and other companies within the Atlantic Reef digital ecosystem. Cognitus aims to inspire and create opportunities for young people in poor communities, specifically targeting the high unemployment rate prevalent in Quindio's province, Colombia.

Collaboration and Training Initiatives: 

Cognitus partners with public institutions and grassroots organizations in disadvantaged communities, such as a local non profit in Las Colinas Neighborhood, Armenia, Quindio.

They offer basic training programs for secondary students, providing them with a solid foundation in programming. Simultaneously, the organization motivates and shares insights and industry opportunities with the students. Upon completion of secondary school, these students have the option to join a technician program sponsored by the company, which serves as their first stepping stone toward a career in technology. Cognitus also actively connects its program students with real job opportunities, both within the group of companies and beyond.

Measuring Success:

Since its inception in 2019, Cognitus has witnessed remarkable progress. Within just a few years, some of the first students have gained two years of work experience in tech companies, while others are pursuing engineering studies to further their growth. These success stories demonstrate the immense potential and opportunities the tech industry holds for individuals from disadvantaged communities. Moreover, these individuals become role models within their communities, inspiring their peers, siblings, and other children to recognize the importance of education and discipline in achieving exceptional results.

Camilo's Journey

Camilo's story is a shining example of how programming skills can transform lives. Previously, he earned a living as a street live statue, following in the footsteps of his family. Seeking better opportunities, he joined Cognitus and developed a passion for programming. Today, he enjoys a stable job with a competitive salary in software development, free from the hardships of working on the streets under harsh weather conditions. Camilo's journey serves as an inspiration to his daughter and other children in his community, illustrating the transformative power of education and determination.

The shortage of tech talent remains a pressing challenge worldwide, and the responsibility to bridge this gap lies with IT companies. Through initiatives like Cognitus, which empowers communities through programming, companies can actively contribute to nurturing talent and creating opportunities for individuals in underserved areas. 

By inspiring young people and providing them with the necessary training and connections, these initiatives unlock the potential of disadvantaged communities and pave the way for a brighter future.

Paula Tellez

BetterWay Devs Inbound Marketing Manager

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