Headshots of Bank of America graduates

A Career In Tech, No Degree Required

Watch how skills training brought three young people into the tech job market — and learn about the organizations that helped them start on a path to financial security and career satisfaction

The tech industry is facing a significant challenge. The number of new companies specializing in highly skilled areas such as artificial intelligence or data analytics continues to surge, creating tens of thousands of new jobs every year. While that bodes well for overall employment, the number of qualified applicants isn’t keeping pace. By 2030, the U.S. could face a talent shortfall of 6.1 million people in computer and mathematics occupations, according to Boston Consulting Group.

At the same time, every year millions of high school graduates looking to enter the workforce lack the skills and connections required to launch a career in the tech industry — where positions often require an advanced degree (or two). This is especially true for young people from historically underrepresented communities. To help close the gap between qualified candidates and those looking to work in tech, government initiatives and nonprofit programs are amplifying workforce training opportunities, specifically targeting high school grads. The scale of the problem, however, is too great to be solved by public and nonprofit groups alone. The private sector, which stands to benefit the most from a larger pool of qualified job candidates, needs to bolster such programs.

Bank of America is investing in and partnering with a number of these programs, including Year UpNPower and Road to Hire. In the above video, hear from three current bank employees who went through these programs. Each program offers a mix of classes and on-the-job experience to build the skills, training and human connections needed to succeed in tech.

Arrick Rithiphong attends a Bank of America and Year Up event

Arrick Rithiphong secured the position of production
services analyst at Bank of America upon completing
the Year Up program.

Year Up: Starting students out on the right foot

Year Up's training program consists of two key phases — students complete technical, interpersonal, and digital skills training during the first phase of the program, followed by a corporate internship where students can apply those skills during a work-based learning experience with a leading company.

“Young people need to know that there are programs and partnerships to provide them with pathways to opportunity and economic mobility," says Gerald Chertavian, Founder & CEO of Year Up. "Over the last two decades, we’ve been fortunate in helping more than 34,000 young people launch professional careers while connecting employers with a source of diverse, skilled talent.”

Carolina Ferreira smiles while enjoying a cup of coffee

Carolina Ferreira, a commodity application support
analyst at Bank of America, credits the program with
giving her the confidence to develop new skills.

NPower: Launching tech careers

NPower offers a 23-week “Tech Fundamentals” program: 16 weeks of courses in IT fundamentals, hardware and cloud computing, followed by a seven-week paid internship or project-based work assignment. “NPower’s tech training program focuses on preparing students with future-proof skills and credentials,” says Bertina Ceccarelli, Chief Executive Officer of NPower. “Our curriculum is shaped by the deep engagement of industry executives. We work with community and corporate partners to address social and emotional needs, professional development and social capital building to ensure career success.”

Emily Hernandez-Mendez stands in front of flowers

Emily Hernandez-Mendez, a software engineer
at Bank of America, was introduced to coding
by Road to Hire.

Road to Hire: Teaching skills now and providing long-term support

By harnessing the strength of local employers, schools and communities, Road to Hire provides Charlotte, NC’s under-resourced young adults with hands-on tech training in high school as well as college scholarships, paid coding and cybersecurity apprenticeships, and mentorship that extends well beyond their time in the program.

“There is a skill shortage, not a people shortage,” said Kacey Grantham, Executive Director of Road to Hire. “Road to Hire graduates, like Emily, prove time and time again that non-traditional career pathways work in closing our opportunity gap and helping companies create more inclusive, high-performing teams.”

Technology already shapes many parts of the global economy — and will only become more influential in the years ahead. Addressing the current digital skills shortage is critical for workers and businesses alike. By creating more pathways into the tech sector, especially for underrepresented groups, companies can unlock a future of innovation and prosperity. 

Since 2018, Bank of America has invested $160 million in organizations like Year Up, NPower and Road to Hire to connect youth and young adults to jobs, including funding jobs with nonprofit partners and supporting skills building and alternative pathways. These career opportunity efforts are examples of Bank of America’s commitment to help advance racial equality and economic opportunity. From entrepreneur funding and expanding home ownership to professional skills training and healthcare access, Bank of America continues to partner with innovative leaders to help communities implement solutions to society’s important challenges.


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