By Larry K. Williams, TAG President and CEO

While achieving a certain level of academic rigor is considered an important aspect of career preparedness for students, more and more importance is being placed on the value of experiential learning. As a result, internships and apprenticeships have become essential ways for candidates to make themselves stand out in the labor market.

By partaking in an internship, students get the opportunity to not only gain first-hand experience in the working world but also understand the career trajectory of their desired profession. Soon, TAG-Ed will be seeking students with the desire to continue their post-secondary studies in a STEM-related field to join our summer internship program, which we have extended to include both high school and college-level students. Applications will open in the Spring.

While the importance of internships is largely undisputed, apprenticeships have yet to be widely adopted outside trade industries, despite their long history in the U.S. However, they provide a great way for young talent to gain hands-on experience while being compensated. They also allow employers to train their workforce in accordance with the needs of their industry, ensuring access to a pipeline of qualified talent.

Employers across the United States recognize the benefit of hiring apprentices, especially for technology-based positions such as cyber security. According to the Department of Labor, there are currently 714 registered apprenticeship programs and 42,260 apprentices in cybersecurity-related occupations. Since Jan. 20, 2021, 199 new programs have been created — a 28% increase.

TAG-Ed hosts a statewide technology apprenticeship program to meet the demands of the tech industry’s workforce, and applications are now open. Be sure to visit the website to either apply for an apprenticeship or to host a future apprentice.