Building a Better Bootcamp:Creating IT Futures Uses Real-Time Job Data to Identify New Growth Opportunities
Creating IT Futures is the tech workforce charity of CompTIA, the world’s largest IT industry association. Creating IT Futures builds on-ramps for underrepresented and underserved people (such as women and ethnic minorities) to prepare for, secure, and succeed in IT careers. Their eight-week bootcamp course, IT-Ready, began in Minneapolis in 2012. IT-Ready provides students with certifications to get them into entry-level positions such as help desk and IT support. On average, 88% of IT-Ready’s students graduate, 86% of graduates are placed into IT jobs, and 85% of graduates stay in IT jobs for at least two years.
With the success of IT-Ready in Minneapolis, Creating IT Futures decided to expand their program nationally. Initially, they offered pop-up IT courses in various cities across the country, but soon realized they needed to establish a consistent local presence to build relationships with students and employers over time.
With such an aggressive plan, the team needed to quickly identify cities or regions with a strong demand for IT jobs. But how could program managers know which cities had a verifiable demand for IT workers?
“They showed us where IT jobs were most available and which cities had the highest concentration of IT jobs. Then we quickly realized that Burning Glass’ data could dig much deeper.”Jeff Lareau
To find a more data-driven approach, Creating IT Futures partnered with CompTIA’s market research team, who were using Burning Glass Technologies’ data to produce reports on the labor market for the IT professionals.
“These reports gave us an overall view of how the IT field was doing. They showed us where IT jobs were most available and which cities had the highest concentration of IT jobs. Then we quickly realized that Burning Glass’ data could dig much deeper,” said Jeff Lareau, Manager, Strategic Partnerships at Creating IT Futures.
The team found that by by using Burning Glass’s labor market data they were able to quickly develop a model to target cities with the biggest gaps in IT. Using Burning Glass’s job market analysis tool, Creating IT Futures was able to evaluate cities based on their demand for entry-level IT jobs, concentration of jobs vs the national average, and the time it took companies to fill positions.
- Creating IT Futures needed a data-driven methodology to target metropolitan areas for an aggressive expansion of their IT-Ready program.
- By using Burning Glass labor market data, Creating IT Futures was able to effectively analyze 25 cities to identify opportunities based on demand, concentration, and time needed to fill IT specialist jobs.
- Creating IT Futures identified employers to build partnerships by identifying companies struggling to fill IT roles.
“Understanding which companies were struggling with the time needed to fill roles was a key factor. Knowing this information allowed our team to reach out to companies in need of talent to build partnerships.”Jeff Lareau