In late June, CompTIA announced the opening of a vendor-neutral IT careers portal named "Skillsboost" that targets parents, teachers, and students. The goal of the site is to provide one-stop online resource for IT careers and training information aimed at secondary (high school) and post-secondary (trade school, community college, university) students interested in what the organization describes as "a vocational route into the IT industry," with special emphasis on hands-on IT training and apprenticeships.
Skillsboost seeks to inform would-be IT professionals and to arm them with skills and knowledge.
The Skillsboost portal is already up and running, but is currently focused exclusively on the United Kingdom (other regions will gradually be added over time, with North America likely to be next in line). It offers localized information on such topics as IT job roles and specialties, related salaries and IT employment statistics, industry sectors where needs for IT professionals are greatest, and more. All this information is intended to help parents and educators guide students in the directions with the greatest potential and longevity prospects, while also providing students with information they can use to plan and direct their own careers and related study and skills acquisition efforts.
According to the press release, "schools and colleges will also be able to use free quizzes to measure students' computing skills against industry-developed criteria." CompTIA will also make its highly touted CertMaster e-learning technology available to students on a trial basis, which can automatically adapt its information delivery to match student capabilities, confidence levels, and memory capacity. Additional information about skills training and vocational qualifications recognized by major IT employers will also be made available to students as well.
An "online apprenticeship section" is planned for the site, intended to link to thousands of open apprenticeship opportunities with leading IT companies in the UK, so that students preparing to matriculate can get on a fast track to IT employment. An emphasis on vocational routes into IT is intended to help close the so-called "skills gap," where students with degrees or certificates in IT areas may nevertheless find themselves unready to handle the jobs open to them in the IT field.